I finally got around to watching the 2011 version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. After reading the novel and watching the Swedish film from 2009 several months ago, I watched the David Fincher adaptation over the weekend.
I don’t think either film is a definitive adaptation of Larsson’s novel. I thought Michael Nyqvist was probably a bit less self-assured (a good thing) than Daniel Craig, but I thought Rooney Mara was more complex than Noomi Rapace in the role of Lisbeth Salander. Michael Phillips was dead-on when he described the Swedish film as “shrewdly acted, [but] indifferently directed.”
Suffice it to say that Fincher’s auteurist film is anything but indifferently directed. The 2011 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has atmosphere in spades. But the ending of the film (no spoilers to follow) eviscerates Larsson’s surprise ending. It was a good film (recent Oscar winner Christopher Plummer is always a treat to watch), but I’m hard pressed to declare it better or worse than the Swedish version.