The American version of ‘Tattoo’
The new American version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is out in theaters next week…Dec 22 The reviews are mostly good to great. Does the movie hold up well to the book and the Swedish movie. Does Rooney Mara do a good job of filling Noomi Replace’s shoes as Salander There is an extended 8 minute trailer to google if you want a sneak peak
Posted by hilogreg in hawaii , 14 December 2011
45 comments on “The American version of ‘Tattoo’”
I’ve liked Noomi’s portrayal less and less as I’ve seen more and more of Rooney; she is much closer, in both look and personality, to how I feel Lisbeth was described in the book.
Plus, there’s the fact that if Stieg had lived, he planned on shopping the movie rights to Hollywood first.
Posted by HiroProtagonist in Poughkeepsie ,
I feel like this site deserves more pictures of Rooney, instead of just Noomi, especially considering Rooney’s closer to the book, and probably what Stieg would have preferred.
Posted by jimmyjohn in california ,
I understand Rooney will supplant Noomi
that she is excellent in a well-done revamp –
BUT that will never displace the accomplishment
of Noomi who looked wrong yet by her personal force
of skills and charisma lifted 1 A film, 1 B- film and 1 C film to international A accomplishment.
Posted by Leo Rivers in Coattage Grove, OR ,
Noomi Rapace IS Salander to me. Always will be. But, I will still see the new movie and hope it’s done well
Posted by Danjo1 in Fullerton, Ca ,
rooney scares me because she has no eyebrows
Posted by awesommesauce in newyork ,
Saw it last night and thought it was very good. It lacked the darke eerie tone of the Swedish versions, but it went into areas that they didn’t. It showed Lisbeth as a bit more tender until she gets dogged by Micke etc. Rooney did well as Lisbeth, although I was way more scared of Noomi. Daniel Craig did well as Micke, (far better here than he is as Bond). The score by Trent Reznor kicked butt.
Posted by Danjo1 in Fullerton, Ca USA ,
Saw the new Tattoo yesterday an was surprised it was so good, truer to the book except for the little twist in London at the end. Liked Mara but still can’t help but picture Noomi as Salander, she still comes off tougher. Craig was good as Blomkvist as was the whole cast. Rooney looked great in disguise as this movie gave more time to her ripping off Wennerstroms millions. Fincher did a good job not to make it more gruesome than necessary.
Posted by jack in portland oregon ,
Rooney Mara was good and made Salander her own Character but to me she was more lithe and statuesque where as Noomi Replace was more diminutive and came off more menacing.
Posted by Bill in SF ,
Saw the new Tattoo this afternoon. Am torn as to whether original Swedish version or this is better. Will simply say they are different. Both excellent.
I agree with Jack in Portland above that Noomi was “tougher” in her portrayal of Lisbeth … but Mara may be more true to Larsson’s Lisbeth.
Excellent movie. We loved it … but it is hard to portray in a movie what in my opinion is one of the most intricately woven mystery novels I have ever written. Excellent!
Posted by DKB in Sherwood, AR ,
If your are a fan of the books you should enjoy the new Dragon Tattoo movie. After watching it we went home and replayed the Swedish movie to compare. David Fincher and Steve Ziallian tell the story better, closer to the book, although the Swedish original was still enjoyable to watch again. Liked the Swedish Armansky and Palmgren better though. Rooney Mara was good as Salander. But after watching her and Noomi back to back, Noomi still embodies Lizbeth to us. I guess it will come down to personal preference since neither one of them is 4’11? and weights 90lbs. The Hollywood casting was good and Craig played well against his Bond type as Blomkvist. We hope the series will continue on with more movies. The lower budget 2nd and 3rd Swedish TV movies begged to be remade.
Posted by B & C in Austin TX ,
I don’t think any book series divides it’s FANS more than this series. I see so many different interpretations and views of Lisbeth Salander in this topic alone that I’m starting to wonder if ANYBODY except Stieg understands her. And honestly, when I was reading the books there were parts where I thought even he didn’t truly know Lisbeth. Guess I better go read the books again to make sure I understand her.
I personally feel that the new movie puts the Swedish version to shame. Rooney adds so many subtleties to each scene in the way she acts that she makes staring at a wall look like a challenging part to act. The new movie is my second favorite of all time, right after Avatar.
Posted by Usmovers_02 in Goffstown, NH ,
I hated the American version. They portrayed Lisbeth as weak. She actually asked Blomkvist if she could kill Martin??? Lame. They didn’t show her shoving the rod either. I don’t think American men can handle that, or at least Fincher didn’t think so. Her rape scenes were more graphic. They should have at least allowed her adequate revenge. They made Lisbeth look like she was a loser…no friends. She fawned after Blomkvist…Larsson’s Lisbeth would have been way more reserved. In the Swedish film, Blomkvist looked at her with affection. And during the first “love scene” Daniel Craig actually flips her over. I could go on, but it just irks me. I won’t watch the next American versions…Besides, what does America know about Sweden?
Posted by Tara in Denver Colorado ,
You make several good points, I too think Rooney Mara’s Salander wasn’t as menacing or as anti social as in the book or as she was portrayed by Noomi Replace in the first movie, still she did capture parts of Lizbeth’s character well. But come on the production value of the American version was way better on every level, and the telling of the story was much truer to the book. I really didn’t like how the first Swedish movie killed off Anita Vanger, changed the initials in the bible and barely touched on the raiding of Wennerstrom’s accounts all big missteps where in the American version there was only the twist in London at the end.
Posted by hilogreg in hawaii ,
#Tara. Lisbeth “asking” if she can kill Martin is not at all a moment of softness but a glimpse of her actual feelings for Blomkvist and the line is delivered with an almost childlike way – like ” I can have this …right?” She wants to make sure that wants she wants is in fact what is best. And that adds depth and growth to the character even though you get the feeling that she only asks as an afterthought and may have trouble not killing him on impulse anyway. Lisbeth is a fully realized human being in small moments of the film. I laughed out loud at this line and thought it was really inspired. Craig flipping her over says more about his character than hers – it’s an actor’s choice. Lisbeth is not just a badass. That makes her interesting. My read on the American film is that she was portrayed as complex and intense. And I loved the originals but felt this adaptation was much more stylish and exciting. What does an American know about Sweden? Does it matter? It is about storytelling and art. What did Spielberg know about the Holocaust? He read books. I liked the Swedish versions – great performances but the big budget version had a international cast and a lot of cash to make it pop on screen.
Posted by jrwal in chicago, il ,
The Swedish movie was by far better done in most aspects, also telling the story in more raalistic terms. The neclace was very important but not in the American version also Lizabeths part was more believable without the hollywood drama seen in some scenes particularly Daniel Craig reaction when in bed with Lizabeth, not real life. I have seen all 3 movies in the Swedish version and hope the last 2 that will be made in hollywood (The girl that played with fire) and( The girl that kicked the hornets nest) are not as senationalized but more about the mystery so the audience is not qestioning where did they get that from.
Posted by DNS in CT ,
American movie was better in my opinion.
Posted by Mbz1 ,
No one can replace the intensity that Noomi brought to the role. As I said to a frien who saw the American film but not the Swedish version, she must see the other to get the feeling of the story line.
Posted by MM in Fl ,
Finchers “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”: Well made, cleaving more closely to the book–great performance actually by Daniel Craig (although I miss the revolutionary days of Hollywood in the early ’70's when not all parts were played by ‘pretty’ people, and like in the Swedish version were played by normal looking, talented actors); Rooney Mara looks great and gives a much more subdued performance than Noomi (who will always be MY Lisbeth); Filmaking more sophisticated (bigger budget obviously) and I also felt that they went soft and pulled a few punches where the Swedish version met them head on. The opening title ‘sequence’ bugged me–not sure why, but why did they need it? Overall, though, Thumbs Up.
Posted by soloranger33 in Chicago, IL ,
I saw the American version today, lisbeth was too social with mikael. For example, I thought she should have been more withdrawn when she first met him. and what was up with the happy meals?! no Billy’s Pan Pizza?!! lol wasn’t happy about the way harriet was handled, won’t say more cuz i don’t wanna spoil it for anyone. sex scenes in american version were hot though
Posted by polly in freeport ,
I liked the opening credit scene in the Hollywood version. To me it signified lisbeth’s internal state of mind in a way. It was hinted in the books that she is on the autism spectrum. Her mind and ethics are different from mainstream society. Of course, we who have read the books and are big fans, love lisbeth for this. I think the Swedish films are more gritty in the story telling. Hollywood’s “tattoo” had a glossy feel. Course that’s what money does for you on the production process. I feel that both versions of the film are well made and stayed true to the overall story. There was the London “twist” that I didnt agree with but no movie can tell the whole story from a book without it being a six hour affair. No one would sit through it all at once. Daniel Craig really was wonderful was bloomkvist. I look forward to the next two Hollywood films with great anticipation.
Posted by Laura in Lake charles ,
I felt like the Hollywood version was too romantic. It seems like Lisbeth shouldn’t have been as emotional. I think the American rape scene was too graphic, Swedish version was better with both the rape and revenge. I think there was too much sex in Hollywood’s. Not sure if I agree with the opening thing in it. It almost seemed too polished. But I’ll admit it was cool.
Posted by Gloria in KC, KS ,
Check out our many articles on Fincher’s TGWTDT at Cultural Transmogrifier Magazine, ctzine.com
Posted by Mike in Milwaukee, WI ,
Funny, I thought the Swedish version was more graphic on the sex scenes, and the American version more graphic on the violence. Asking Michael whether she can kill Martin? Really? Suprisingly the Hollywood version was truer to the book. I thought the Swedish version’s bad guys made better bad guys. All in all I was happy with both films, certainly was not disappointed in the Hollywood version. Will box office success, lead to the other two movies being done in english?
Posted by Mick in Surrey, BC ,
Such a good film. Please check out my review at ctzine.com.
Posted by Mike Madden in Milwaukee, WI ,
Loved the U.S. version much more than the Swedish version. Adhered more to the book, and the budget helped it a lot, though I think it would have crushed it had the performances not been very good. I was skeptical of Craig, but he did very well, and Mara was really really great.
The biggest thing that pisses me off about the film (and its partially my own fault for having only ready Dragon Tattoo before seeing the film and not the other two) is how they completely SPOIL “All The Evil”. Seriously??? It pissed me off so much. Plus, it’s COMPLETELY against Lisbeth’s character to just tell Mikael outright what happened when she was 12 – basically one of her darkest secrets, and something that took years to even tell Palmgren. She just throws it out there like its nothing.
I don’t know what the screenwriter was thinking. Why would you spoil one of the biggest mysteries of the second book in the first movie if you’re planning on making a trilogy of films??? Yeah yeah you still don’t know who her father is, but STILL.
Seriously, it almost ruined the movie for me. Granted I was only 1/2 way through Played With Fire when I first saw it, but you shouldn’t have to have have read that book to be spoil-free when seeing the first movie. Ugh.
Posted by MRP in Illinois ,
I think it’s “apples vs. oranges” , the movies are made for two different cultures. Both are well done but frustrating compared to the book of course. Without the U.S. version I would never have heard of Larsson and missed out on an incredible story.
Posted by J.Brown in miledgeville,ga.usa ,
I just saw the movie tonight,and it was really good!! I think they made a good choice in casting Rooney Mara!! She’s a great actress from what I’ve seen so far,and look forward to seeing her in the others. My girlfriend didn’t think she would like it,but after reading alot of bad reviews about the devil inside,there was no choice. But afterwards she really liked it….
Posted by Jimbo in Colorado springs ,
What Fincher does is so economic and powerful. There is a three second scene in which we see Salander and Blomvkist walking side by side outdoors – it tells you everything you need to know about these two. They are equals – both dressed in the same colors, with the same expression, except that while Lisbeth is shorter, she’s also more comfortable in the cold. Mikael is bundled up in a watch cap and an enormous scarf, while Salander is bareheaded with no scarf. Two sides of the same coin, each used to operating alone but come are joined through their obsessive need to solve the murders. Steve Zallian, the screenwriter for the US version says this (paraphrase): As they get to know one another, they come together. Mikael, the “Practical Pig” in the book, becomes more capable of thinking like Salander, while she becomes more civilized, as evidenced when Salander saves Bloomkvist in the death chamber, when she asks permission to kill Martin and Bloomkvist nods YES!
Posted by R Scheuer in San Francisco ,
I think Craig is better as Blomkvist. It’s a coin flip for the actresses, but I think Rooney Mara looks closer to the part, but I wouldn’t have been disappointed if the original actress (Noomi Rapace) would have wanted to reprise the role (which she didn’t).
I think the American version is closer to the story and I can’t wait for the ‘Directors Cut’ DVD which I imagine would add another 30 – 45min to the film! I liked the way they explain Anita Vanger because it seemed more believable than her ending up in Aussieland. I also liked the part of her sewing up his cut with dental floss and her expression when he asked her to disinfect it first!
Hopefully the Studio will decide to finish the last 2 films back -to- back with or without Fincher. I can’t see the main actors (Craig & Rooney) waiting 2 more years for Fincher to spend on his’20,000 leagues Under The Sea’ picture? Also, a bunch of the supporting actors would need to be replaced if their were not available.
Finally, I think the studio made a big mistake waiting until Christmas in the USA for this movie to come out. There was already a HUGE worry that this version would be more graphic than the Swedish one, and that scared away a lot of the viewers. A better time would be in the lag time between the Summer and Holiday blockbuster films. Anyway, it’s just too bad they didn’t film them ALL TOGETHER like the Peter Jackson did in the LOTR Trilogy.
Posted by TheLlama in Earth ,
When I thought of “a girl who looked to be in her teens with a doll-like figure” I thought of Rooney. Noomi just didn’t have the look for me. Rooney seemed like more of a smart ass like in the books which you see a lot of in the later books. I read the books before I saw the Swedish movies, watched the Swedish version before I saw the American version, and re-read the first bok after I saw the new version. I’ve now seen the Fincher version four times. If the American version had been made first, everyone would be saying that one was better. I look forward to see the next two movies. I can’t wait to see who they get to play Zala, Nidermann, and even figuerola.
Posted by Ismael in Cleveland ,
I just saw the American version and liked it a lot. I’m not sure if I liked it better than the Swedish one though. One thing I didn’t like was that the American version was so dark. I know Sweden days are pretty dark in the long winter, but don’t American directors know that they do have electricity. I thought Rooney did a great job, but I do like Noomi – she’s much tougher, which reflects all she’s been through. Just as a matter of interest I got the boxed set of all 3 Swedish movies – the extended versions, and they add an extra 2 hours total to the movies which makes them much closer to the books. Definitely worth seeing.
Posted by Eleanor in Lancaster, UK ,
Hands down rooney is better for the roll. Lisbeth isnt supposed to look intimidating. People underestimate her and think she is weak thats why rooney and the american version is better its truer to the story and to lisbeth
Posted by khelee 24 in atlanta ,
thanks for the tip on the box set. I have been trying to find the missing sections from the Swedish TV mini series that also encompassed the 1st ‘Tattoo’ movie. What I didn’t like about the Swedish movie was the choppy editing and altered storyline, which I could give many examples of. While the American version was truer to the book and well done I didn’t care for the morphing of Anita/Harriet into one, which was slightly better than killing her off as the 1st movie did.
Thanks to everyone who left comments it’s nice to know there are so many passionate Larsson fans out there…here’s hoping that the new versions of played with fire and hornet’s nest is the our future.
Posted by hilogreg in Hawaii ,
Comparing the swedish and the american version of ‘tattoo’ really is an apples vs. oranges kinda thing. Think of the two movies like broadway plays done by two different production teams with different actors based on the same source material. Both are great, and the adaptations really compliment the book in a way that Peter Jackson did Lord of the Rings did, unlike some of those Harry Potter movies. I love the depth that Fincher’s version explored and I’m dying to see the swedish extended cut.
Posted by Matt Xell in Lusaka, Zambia ,
I have read books 1 & 2, just starting the third, and I’ve not seen the Swedish films but I was blown away by Rooney Mara’s performance. Some people comparing the movies say Noomi is ‘tougher’ but purely from the books I don’t see her as a ‘tough’ character. She has a lot of vulnerabilities and I thought Rooney did well at showing them but without being too soft. Also subtle things like, not looking people in the eye and flinching when Blomkvist moved close to her. I dunno I just thought she is the perfect Salander. I will probably see the Swedish ones at some point but I’m really looking forward to the next two by Fincher, I couldn’t put the second book down!
Posted by Lynne in Glasgow, Scotland ,
I’ve just saw the american version. i have read all the 3 books, i saw all the swedish movies. Noomi Rapace for me is the Real Lisbeth. I had always on mind the way she act. Swedish in a Swedish film of a Swedish novel.
Posted by lostre04 in volos greece ,
The American version is a brochure of the book way to quick , it didn’t really get into any of the subjects in great measure just glossed over them
Posted by Snoopy in Melbourne ,
All right, it comes to this, I knew it would, I’ll have to weigh in and settled us all once and for all.
1st I have to say that you can’t compare the movies until you have obtained the TV versions on DVD because the extra half-hour in the 1st and 2nd movie give depth to characters that were very weak or cartoonlike in the movie versions. And the 3rd movie which I didn’t think would make sense to anyone who hadn’t read the book actually was an hour longer and became a kind of John Le Carré espionage novel on the screen. It went from a C- to B for me. The 2nd movie was always a funded venture even kind of neutered with the missing half-hour. The 1st movie remains an A- grade but more fulfilling with the extra half-hour. The truth is it is self-sustaining and literary in the movie version as well as the book version. His 2nd and 3rd books were a kind of Bond adventure and then John Grisham book as far as his writing ability is concerned. The 1st book really is a major piece of writing and probably would’ve remained a better “novel”, even if you’d finished the proposed 10 in the series.
The truth is that the American movie was made by a director who didn’t really think he was going to make the next 2 so he was able to justify undercutting what was to come and what had happened prior to the 1st novel beginning. And I thought the business about her asking permission completely undercut the distinction between a semi-feral prodigy that she was and the politically correct but not necessarily courageous or even all that Altruistic newspaperman that he was. Rooney deserves praise for being 100% better than anyone could have expected her to be. She carried the ball all the way over for the touchdown. But she did not have the feral or dangerous energy of the real Salander. Noomi didn’t look like my Salander, but her acting ability and presence made you forget that the moment you looked at her and as long as you kept looking at her. I really liked the American film but it was a kind of pillaging of the material and processing it into a 1st rate commercial product. For doing a “remake” the director did as much as he could without really believing in the material. I think that shows by the choices he made.
Oh well, I guess I didn’t settle all this for once and for all after all.
Posted by Leo Rivers in Cottage Grove Oregon ,
Liked your comments. I haven’t figured out how to find the Swedish TV mini series with all the extra footage although I have seen some of the deleted scenes from the mini series. I thought Fincher and screenwriter Zaillian did a good job sticking closer to the book but still in both movies there were little irksome scenes that could have easily played out better. The whole cast and Zaillian are committed for the next two movies, but not Fincher as yet from what I’ve read.
Posted by hilogreg in Hawaii ,
I have watched both versions of the Swedish movies. I own the extended ones. I admit that I didn’t jump on the bandwagon when this first hit the states because well frankly most of the “popular” stuff sucks (hello sparkling vampires!!) however I finally got off my high horse and watched TGWTDT (Swedish/reg) on Netflix. I was blown away! I immediately stayed up and watch Fire and Hornets Nest and then watched Dragon again. I immediately bought the first book and then the rest. Then for my birthday I was given the extended Swedish version. They are a prized part of my collection. I watch weekly and each time the movies make an impact on me even though I can practically speak Swedish at this point (hahaha) and know them by heart. I sincerely wanted the American version to be great however I was beyond disappointed. The screenplay was a horrible adaptation and the acting was as flat as a coke left out in the summer heat. I thought the actors looked the parts but where left with such a horrible script that it is no wonder they were stale. The rape did not have the impact of the Swedish movies simply because I didn’t care about Lisbeth as I should have. I know that this could have been brilliant but it was nothing more than fluff and no substance. Stick with the Swedish version if you want to see an excellent version of the book.
Posted by Buffy in Charlotte Nc ,
The swedish originals are much better and I’m suprised that people are actually debating this. Every time I see a post saying Rooney Mara was so much more accurate my blood boils. Check out the bonus interviews on the original DVD’s and you will see how insightful rapace is and the intensity that she brought to the role which she inhabited for so long. She made the role her own. I see posts with people saying Rooney Mara makes staring at a wall seem like a hard and challenging scene. What the f”ck is that supposed to mean, I f”cking detest people who think that staring at a wall with a moody face and supposedly doing that sh”t with her eyes that she doesn’t make eye contact with people means she s an intense actor that brings so much more to the role. I don’t want to be harsh on Rooney Mara because she’s just an actress accepting a great role but it just isn’t necessary to make these american versions of european films, and people chatting shit about what stieg larson would have wanted and this and that should just bear down cos you don’t actually know what stieg larson would have wanted. We all have our opinions and tastes but the originals are original the remakes aren’t. They are in swedish with swedish actors in sweden. The american versions are confused, daniel craig starts out with a swedish accent then gradually drops it and just goes british again, Rooney mara isn’t swedish and yet she’s talking with a fucked up accent going ‘ May I kill him’ ( master). Or you commit to the swedish and just do it in swedish ( as in the original films) or you just don’t and just do them in english. If your going to change the language might as well change the fucking settings. I mean, I dont read the book with a swedish accent in my head. That bit when Lisbeth asks if she can kill martin vanger just made me think What the fuck. there were positives with the american version they got the settings right as in hedestad looked genuine as did most of the decors. There was far too much moody electro music that just does’nt make it feel genuine and then she asks Blomquist if she can kill martin !!! I mean if you ve read the books you would f”cking know that she would never do that f”cking ever thats absolute bulsh”t. You can be sure theres some f”cking sh”tty excuse or reason for it as in we’re going for this angle or whatever but someone should have just said no f”cking way, she would never say that that just goes against everything,everything. So does the whole ” put your hand back on my back” in the stupid swedish accent. I mean come the f”ck on man what is that about.
People need to understand that tv series is the way forward now the original swedish films are made up of 6 long episodes which just work better you can develop characters and storylines much more profoundly. And people need to learn to watch things with subtitles of just F”ck off
Posted by Pissed off Phil in Paris ,
it wasn’t about the subtitles, both films are good. Rooney came closest to what I thought Lisbeth would look like from the book: Slim body, doll like figure who look like a child. Rapace looked like a boy who played on the wrestling team but she was fierce in her acting. Lisbeth wasn’t described as fierce. She was described as someone people underestimated, especially Bjurman. Fierceness came to Lisbeth after she had been wronged. Also, I like Daniel Craig as Blomkvist better than Nyquist. His chemistry with Rooney was off the charts and I liked him playing the female lead. Being comfortable in his maleness without being chauvenistic. Craig made it believable that women would drop their panties for him
As in the book, Blomkvist thought Lisbeth had Aspberger. So Rooney’ ability to “stare at the wall” and still invite the audience in to root for and care for her is remarkable acting.
And the American Version is not a remake. It is an adaptation of the Book. And this version follows the books more closely than the Swedish Version. How many versions of Jane Eyre are on film? Why be so snobbish. I read the books, saw the Swedish versions and now the English version. My friends only saw the American Versions and some have bought the books or the Swedish movies or both. It’s a win win situation. More attention on Stieg Larsson’ work.
And if you don’t understand the “May I Kill Him” quote, check on the thread on this board.
I liked the the American Version more. Phil, please drink some wine and calm down.
Posted by sonya in new britain ,
In terms of adaptation, Swedish won it. Both people who portrayed lisbeth were great but Mara is pretty much effortless but flashy compared to noomi who has a traditional style. Mikael was also better played by Craig.
Posted by Heysian Whemun in Asia ,
When I thought of “a girl who looked to be in her teens with a doll-like figure” I thought of Rooney.
She’s also described as looking like a boy if you saw her from a distance, though…
Posted by Clertar in Uppsala ,
Also, re. the divergences from the original: the Swedish films are shortened versions of TV-movie adaptations. Stuff that was included in the TV-movie script had to be cut out when the cinema versions were made, so it’s slightly unfair to compare how many plotlines and details are dropped or kept in the Fincher version and Swedish cinema-cut version.
Posted by Clertar in Uppsala ,