If we’re ready to be honest as people, we should admit that David Fincher’s Lisbeth Salander movie is better than the Swedish originals. Yes, I know we’re all supposed to pretend the original is better under all circumstances, but those films - as amazing as Noomi Rapace is - don’t capture the stylized bleakness of the novels. Alas, Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t do well enough at the box office to warrant further movies with the director and star Rooney Mara. Instead, Sony are skipping to the Lisbeth book not written by Stieg Larsson, cutting the budget down and letting the more cost-effective Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe and the remake of Evil Dead) direct.
Lisbeth is now being played by Claire Foy from The Crown, and for me she’s all kinds of wrong for the part. Check out the admittedly cleverly structured trailer, which leans in hard to the revenge fantasy against bad men. Foy just seems too prim for Lisbeth, the voice too mannered, and the aesthetics way softer than Lisbeth herself would ever allow. Lisbeth is supposed to be intensely abrasive and dress in a manner that always screams ‘Get the fuck away from me or I’ll hurt you’. With the ever so cool dark hair and a couple of piercings, Foy just looks like she’s playing dress up. Noomi Rapace was genuinely scary as Lisbeth at times, while Rooney Mara was a jagged creature with a DIY look that hinted at real pain. I remember when they announced the Fincher film and many people were worried the film would make her look more palatable and pretty for general audiences. That’s what Foy’s aesthetic is. It’s like Sony chickened out.
The movie also stars Claes Bang, LaKeith Stanfield, Sverrir Gudnason as Mikael Blomkvist, and the wonderful Vicky Krieps from Phantom Thread.