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David Fincher, a master of graphic style in filmmaking, taking on Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander seemed like a match made in Hollywood heaven.  But I have to be honest, I was a little let down.  Maybe “The Social Network” set the bar too high.  That rowing race scene with the Winklevoss twins getting beaten to the thunderous Germanic techno classical score was genius.  No dialogue needed, the action spoke volumes of the characters and what they were fated to experience.

His credits are always great, but this sequence was pretty phenomenal. It had all the themes, violence against women and children, the dead coming back to avenge their killer, infectious technology, all of it presented in the credits.

Whatever problems I have with the story, Fincher always gives us something pretty or at least interesting, to look at.  Lisbeth’s look is one part don’t f**k with me masculine toughness, and one part alien beauty.

Her appearance serves as a protective shell, like a porcupine, she doesn't want you to get too close.

The shirt says it all.

Fincher enlisted fashion runway heavyweights, Pat McGrath for makeup and Danilo for hair to transform Rooney Mara into Lisbeth. Not sure if Lisbeth would really take the time to bleach her eyebrows, but hey, that's just me. It works. It's memorable for sure.

Suited up in her armor. Almost insect-like, Lisbeth is a "bug" intent to take down anyone who wrongs her or Blomkvist.

In the end you see her almost fragile.

There was a lot written about Trish Summerville’s Lisbeth look, H&M even collaborated with her on a capsule collection.  She won an award for Excellence in Contemporary Film from the Costume Designers Guild.

Photo: H & M.

It’s fine.  I know the the story is set in early 2000’s, so maybe that’s why it looks a little dated to me.  But I think Daniel Craig’s rumpled professor look, kinda stole the show.  Or maybe it’s just him.  He’s hella sexy, no?

Shawl collar sweater over layered shirts.

A super fuzzy grey sweater over more layered shirts.

Even a black sweater over his red flannel pajamas looks nice.

So casual, so cool. His glasses just so.

More tonal layering.

Jacket with vest and dark jeans.

Smaller shawl collar sweater.

Layered neutrals. Again, the glasses, worn askew. Does this mean Blomkvist looks at the world differently? Sees things others don't?

More tonal layering, this time two woven shirts on top of each other.

Fincher did a great job, but the adaptation was lacking something…  And I must say, I cringed at the after-rape shower scene.  Did not think Fincher would do something so clichéd.  You would think he would’ve rolled his eyes after he read that.

It didn’t occur to me when I read the book, but when I saw this sequence, it clicked.

Lisbeth is pursuing Martin after she discovers he is one of the killers. It's as if she's on horseback, riding through the woods, chasing the beast. It's a Nordic fairytale. A Grimm one. It's violent, bloody, with damsels in distress, and the righteous winning in the end.

Lisbeth is the hero, using her magic (computer skills, photographic memory) and wits to kill the beast literally or figuratively (Martin, Advokat Bjurman). Painting by John Bauer.

In keeping with the fairy tale theme, maybe that’s why they changed Harriet’s situation.  Harriet escaping the trolls/ogres (her father and brother) was an act of “magic.”  Out in the world she transformed into another person to survive, and she returns home victorious in a sense, having survived her horrific childhood.

It’s not a rave review but there are still plenty of reasons to see it.  Rooney Mara was excellent.  I’m still looking forward to seeing “Girl Who Played with Fire” and the development of her character.

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