Last week, Sony Pictures shrewdly amped up the pre-release conversation around David Fincher's re-adaptation of Steig Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by revealing a six-minute extended trailer in front of a press screening of Rod Lurie's "Straw Dogs." Fincher was there. Trent Reznor was there. Everyone felt stoked to be treated with the footage. And, on cue, everyone wrote about it.
Well, tonight, the studio dropped what I imagine is a whittled-down version of that assemblage, though it still clocks in at nearly four minutes long, laying out the basic establishing beats of the relationship between Daniel Craig's Mikael Blomkvist character and Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara. And I have to be honest. I kind of nodded off watching it. The teaser trailer that hit back during the summer, with Reznor and Karen O's cover of "Immigrant Song?" I was totally on board for that. Here they're slowing things down and building a different identity for the film and, well, if this is representative of what got everyone jazzed last week, I'm just not feeling that level of excitement. But then, Mr. Fincher isn't sitting two rows in front of me.
Having said all that, I think the takeaway here is the light shed on Mara's performance. I've been down on the film's Oscar potential all year, but I'm coming around to it here and there. I get the sense that it represents the Fincher of old (my favorite Fincher, I should add), and films like "Se7en" and "Fight Club" certainly weren't Academy fodder. But they did find room in the crafts fields, and below the line, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" looks like a dazzler, with some gorgeous cinematography from 2010 nominee Jeff Cronenweth. And Mara looks to give a dynamite performance. (Most of that reaction is in keeping with what HitFix's Chris Eggertsen wrote when he saw the sizzle reel last week.)
I never saw the original films, so I don't know how much of a riff on Noomi Rapace this might be. I never read the books, either. I want to go in fresh here. But even if this is an awkwardly paced piece of marketing for the film, it is still my #1 most anticipated (feel bad) movie of Christmas. So bring it on.
Also worth noting, by the way, is the presence of Christopher Plummer, who could be particularly ubiquitous this season if "Barrymore" is picked up. He's already popped up in Mike Mills's "Beginners," and really, all of his work this year seems to be fuel for that supporting actor campaign's fire. Unless, of course, his performance here is considerable enough to become "the one."
What are your thoughts on the trailer? Cut loose in the comments section below.