Oscar Best Actress Nominee: Rooney Mara in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is up for four Academy Awards in addition to Rooney Mara’s nomination for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander: Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing. It has received numerous other awards and nominations.
This piece, by Megan Kearns, first appeared at Bitch Flicks on January 10, 2012.




Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth Salander consumes my thoughts. I’ve spent the last year and a half reading, writing, analyzing, debating and discussing the punk hacker. As a huge fan of the books and the original Swedish films, I was NOT excited to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Hollywood remake.
Plagued by sexist marketing that seemed to focus solely on Mikael and depict Lisbeth as a sexpot damsel in distress, I feared Hollywood would wreck one of the most unique female protagonists in pop culture. With trepidation, I watched David Fincher’s take on Stieg Larsson’s epic. While some gender problems arose, I’ve got to admit I was pleasantly surprised. And it all hinges on Rooney Mara’s performance.
For those who don’t know, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first part in the global phenomenon of The Millennium Trilogy, features disgraced crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and brilliant researcher Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) who unite to solve the mystery of a woman who disappeared 40 years ago. The gritty, tense plot fuses with social commentary on violence against women, sexuality and gender roles.
Do we really need an American remake? Fincher, a notoriously obsessive and detailed filmmaker, creates a gorgeous film evoking a macabre ambiance. Trent Reznor’s eerie and haunting score punctuates each slickly stylized scene perfectly. Phenomenal actors fill the screen: Craig, Robin Wright (who I will watch in absolutely anything), Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgaard, Vanessa Redgrave. While everyone does their best, the remake isn’t quite as compelling as the original. I never really felt invested in any of the characters. Except for Lisbeth. The sole reason to see the film is Mara’s stellar portrayal.