Monday, January 02, 2012

Worst Blog Post of the Day #7

This horrific, lazy "appreciation" of budding star Rooney Mara positions the new Lisbeth Salander as a cog in the Hollywood machine, somehow engineered to take up a once-in-a-generation role that Natalie Portman or Anne Hathaway (Can anyone seriously see Hathaway as Lisbeth?) were already too famous to accept. There's no consideration of what Mara risked by taking the role, the differences between the work of Mara and the justifiably appreciated Noomi Rapace on anything more than a physical level, or of the fact that Mara made something real out of what on the page never becomes more than a have-it-both-ways male fantasy object. Mara in the last scene of Fincher's Dragon Tattoo did something that Rapace and the Swedish version failed to do: she moved me. Mara isn't the only member of the Dragon Tattoo team insulted; if David Fincher gave a damn he might take issue with the assertion that he "cast this thing for looks". House Next Door usually does better than uninformed generalizations; I'll chalk this post up to the whirl of the holidays.
In Dragon Tattoo, she is predominantly a presence, a slinky, androgynous, techno ghost who occasionally offers serviceable line readings while struggling with a Nordic accent. You feel her aura as you did in those magazine spreads, where she posed and didn't speak. The consensus is dead-on, however, in that she is utterly hypnotic to watch, a commanding, outré beauty with a laser-like focus wholly appropriate for her iconic character. As evidenced by the many keenly chosen, square-jawed blondes who bring the Swedish tale to life, Fincher cast this thing for looks, and with Mara, he found a porcelain jackpot, whose skin and facial structure could be stared at for hours, and could evidently provide assurance that the necessary performance would emerge in due course (proven talents like Anne Hathaway and Mia Wasikowska were famously up for this part, but as recent doodles suggest, such casting probably wouldn't have worked, as none of Hollywood's go-tos boast Mara's rare form, let alone her invaluable obscurity).

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