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See The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before Hollywood ruins it

March 4, 2010

Noomi Rapace: The face of Lisbeth Salander.

If you love Stieg Larsson’s crime novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, then run to catch the Swedish movie version, opening in limited U.S. release March 19. Do you really want to see Kristen Stewart moping around as Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake? God, me neither.

According to a recent story in Newsweek, Stewart (best known as Twilight‘s Bella), is the leading candidate to play Larsson’s fierce young heroine in the American version. The Swedish movie, which has earned more than $100 million in Europe since its initial release last February, has made a star out of the little-known Swedish acrtress Noomi Rapace.

In a notice posted just today, the Miami Herald‘s Rene Rodriguez (for my money one of the most reliable film critics in the country), gives the picture three-and-a-half stars. Rapace’s Lisbeth, he writes, “is unlike any troubled bad girl you’ve encountered,” “haunting, enigmatic,” and: “She’s fantastic, and so is the movie.”

Do you really think anyone will be saying that kind of thing a year or two from now about an American version, starring, say, Stewart and Johnny Depp, or Russell Crowe, or (shudder!) Al Pacino as the discredited journalist who needs her help solving a decades-old murder?

It’s not only the virtual certainty Hollywood will get the casting wrong. I don’t mean to beat up on poor Kristin Stewart (well– maybe bit: why does this girl always look sleepy?). More important — why make a new version of a perfectly excellent movie only a year old?

Kristen Stewart: Not.

One reason to embrace a foreign movie or book is its very foreignness. Even books or movies influenced by Hollywood, or by American genre literature, are enlivened by having been processed through an Asian or European sensibility. Really, I cannot think of a single American remake that is not worse than the original. Usually much worse.

Wait, I did think of one: The Ring, starring Naomi Watts, based on Hideo Nakata’s 1998 film, Ringu. Other than that, nothing. Nada. Al Pacino’s Insomnia, a 2002 remake of the 1997 Norwegian original isn’t an embarrassment, it just isn’t very good. The Magnificent Seven is much loved by little boys of all ages, but it’s quite pallid compared to Kurosawa’s original, Seven Samurai.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, French cinema was briefly in vogue here in the U.S., as Scandinavian pictures are right now. And so we got lame remakes of Francophone hits like Three Men and a Baby (the American version starred, I kid you not, Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and the immortal Steve Guttenberg) or Cousin Cuisine, made into a great big glop of pablum titled Cousins, with Ted Danson, Sean Young and William Petersen.

Americans are really good at making movies. Heck, we invented the art form, and continue to dominate world cinema. But we’re best when we make our own movies, with our own stories, and show everyone else how it’s done. We don’t need to swoop in and take over every time someone else makes money on an interesting picture. It’s unseemly, it’s bullying, and it almost never works.

Oh, and it doesn’t seem to help when we bring the foreign creative team to Hollywood.

Consider The Vanishing (1993), an unbelievably cheesy thriller that tacks on a happy ending to the terrific and unsettling Dutch original, Spooloos (1988). Both are written by Tim Krabbe and directed by George Sluizer. So don’t expect much even if the writers and directors of the Swedish version of TGWTDT migrate to L.A.

Instead, seek out the Swedish-language version. Go. Now.

Meanwhile, can anyone else think of a good American remake of a foreign film, especially one based on a book?

86 Comments leave one →
  1. Tommy permalink
    March 4, 2010 2:23 pm

    Here is the link for those who wish to see the film this weekend:

    http://miami.bside.com/2010/films/thegirlwiththedragontattoomnsomhatarkvinnor_miami2010;jsessionid=988FD104D154FD4FABCD7084724DEC97

    Poor Kristen is in over her head, especially with the new bio-pic based on the life of Joan Jett.

    Chauncey, no fun having to come up with good American remakes. The bad ones are so many and such easy targets. Vanilla Sky for one made me want to shut my eyes instead of Abre los ojos. The Outrage with Paul Newman is another Kurosawa film we Americans defiled.

    Here is a good if not great remake: 12 Monkeys based on La jetée a french sciencie fiction short. Still not based on a book though. This is tough.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 4, 2010 3:16 pm

      Yeah: Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett?!? Good lord. Joan would eat Kristen for breakfast, and still be hungry.

      I forgot about Twelve Monkeys, a very nice sci-fi movie, but partly because it’s not a remake, so much as an inspired-by.

      I guess yesterday I was arguing in favor of books in translation, and today foreign films. A theme perhaps

      • Tommy permalink
        March 4, 2010 3:33 pm

        Just started TGWTDT so I will not view a screening of the film before I have finished the book.

        I know that ever sleepy look of Kristen’s, Bob Marley has something to do with it.

        I did notice the theme. Are you preparing the class for a field trip?

    • Candice permalink
      March 4, 2010 9:02 pm

      Tommy–how can you put Kristen Stewart and Bob Marley in the same sentence?

      • Tommy permalink
        March 4, 2010 10:47 pm

        @ Rachel, @ Candice I was referring more to the act of “Hanging with Bob Marley” a euphemism a high school teacher had for the activity myself and my fellow tree people were engaged in before class. This indulgence would leave us with the same look Kristin is sporting.

    • Linda permalink
      April 27, 2010 9:44 am

      I think its a shame for USA to do remakes. If there is anything USA need it is to open the eyes to the rest of the world. To stop using USA as definition of “the world”.

      If people in USA are able to read, why go and make a remake of this awsome movie (and other great movies like the ring, the grudge and dark water)?

      Its time for USA to do like the rest of the world, learn to read subtitles!

      This movie and the books are so great, and Noomi is so wonderful!❤

  2. Oline Cogdill permalink
    March 4, 2010 2:52 pm

    Chauncey, you said it all! i really want to see this film…but not the Hollywood version. Larsson’s books are wonderful — relistening to the second one now.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 4, 2010 3:17 pm

      Oline, do you know if it’s going to be in theaters here in South Florida? I can’t find anything on line, and I’m not going to be able to make it for the sole showing at the Miami Film Festival this weekend.

      • LittleImpaler permalink
        July 28, 2010 8:22 am

        You can buy the DVD of the Swedish movie at Barnes&Nobles

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 4, 2010 3:36 pm

      A field trip — great idea! Let’s first visit Stockholm, then mosey on over to Abu Dhabi…

  3. Candice permalink
    March 4, 2010 4:41 pm

    Now that you mention it, I can’t think of a single one, Chauncey Mabe. But I do so want to be in your travel class.

  4. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 4, 2010 4:54 pm

    Grab a bag of good books, and away we go!

    • Candice permalink
      March 4, 2010 9:00 pm

      Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour…the magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away, dying to take you away…

  5. Karla permalink
    March 4, 2010 5:20 pm

    First of all the American version is always bad. You forgot to mention the remake of State of Play.
    Second I hate Kristen Stewart. She is not a good actress. She has no range, and yes, she always looks like she is about to fall asleep.
    Third of all do you have this movie? Can you send it to me? ha
    And lastly, I like Three Men and a Baby…

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:16 am

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just being released in the U.S. Look for it in Baltimore. I’m sure it will play there, though not widely and possibly not for long. Also look for it on Comcast, On Demand.

      I almost mentioned State of Play, but I had to stop somewhere.

  6. rachel permalink
    March 4, 2010 5:43 pm

    I just don’t understand remaking movies. Old movies. Foreign movies. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Especially for the director, wouldn’t it be more exciting, as in less boring, to make a new movie rather than trying to improve a pre-existing movie and, as noted above, usually failing?

    Kristen Stewart is hateful. And oh so drowsy.

    Tommy, Bob Marley likes when awake and alert people listen to his music too.

    Karla, you like Three Men and a Little Baby like you like Grease. Somewhat shamefully.

    P.S. I like the Swedes. But I wonder how they stay so on top of their stuff. It is oh so cold and oh so dark. How do they write and think and paint and act and stuff?

    Also I want to see this movie. The Svedish version that is.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:17 am

      Socialism. That’s the secret to Swedish quality. Oh, that and politeness. They are the most painfully polite people I’ve ever met.

      • alexis permalink
        March 5, 2010 11:41 am

        I get the reason old movies are remade. Sometimes the actual story is timeless, but the movies are dated and directors want to put a modern spin on it. Now that I say this though, I cannot think of an example that I actually like…..

        And I really don’t get the remaking of foreign films. I think it is kind of insulting to the creators of the original movie, like, we can do it better.

        And I hate hate hate the chick from Twilight.

  7. Monica permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:38 pm

    I agree with you Rachel, why remake any movie? The original of anything always seems to be the best, especially where movies are concerned. Don’t even get me started on Kristin Stewart- where did she come from in the first place? She frightens me- forget the vampires and werewolves!

  8. John Karwacki permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:04 pm

    Wow, lots of K.S. slapping going on. I love her in the You Yube clip where she’s smoking a bowl, hence the sleepy eyes. Money makes the decisions in Hollywood and money is not creative or orignal. When bankers treat art as commodity we get remakes and the seven hundredth “Alice In freakin’ Wonderland”. Read Lewis Carroll, “always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.”

    • Tommy permalink
      March 4, 2010 11:12 pm

      Money is the root of all bad films.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:37 am

      John,

      You have, of course, put your finger on the truth. Two of them, in fact: Why Kristen’s always dozey (and really, who among us can throw that stone? Besides, she of an age). And how money messes up movies. I’m pretty sure KS can take a little ribbing, by the way. I mean, she’s rich and famous and adored. And we’re, uh, not.

      The amazing thing, though, is that any good movies ever get made. You know all those classics– The Thin Man, or High Sierra, or Casablanca, or The Philadelphia Story, or It’s a Wonderful Life? — all made by craven producers interested only in turning a profit.

      Sam Goldwyn famously told a writer/director who was getting too big for his britches: “You want to send a message, call Western Union.” (A truth Don DeLillo forgets in Point Omega, his latest novel, by the way.) And Sam Goldwyn produced Arrowsmith, Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives, Dead End, The Little Foxes.

      (Speaking of Sam Goldwin, he was a wonderful American character. Everyone should read Scott Berg’s excellent biography, Goldwyn: A Biography).

      But while money is a pernicious element of movie-making, I don’t think we can blame everything bad on it. I mean, lowering the money quotient doesn’t seem to ameliorate the problem. Consider how many wretched independent films there are, like, for example, the barf-inducing Away We Go…

  9. Tommy permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:10 pm

    Yeah, that was some good “acting” I was convinced she was the stoner girl next door.

    All the women here have big, beautiful brown eyes full of life, you would think they would be a little more kind to the sleepy K-stew.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:54 am

      Isn’t that what celebrities are for? To mock and belittle and give our own pathetic little lives an illusion of meaning? It’s a point that proves there is a South Park episode for everything. If you don’t believe me, check this one out. Warning: It’s got images that some viewers may find disturbing. So go read a book (But not Naked Lunch, the most disturbing thing I’ve ever read):

      http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/164365/?autoplay=false

      • Tommy permalink
        March 5, 2010 2:33 pm

        Sure there is a South Park episode for everything, Just remember the “Simpsons Already Did It”.

  10. John Karwacki permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:13 pm

    I once met a girl with a dragon tatoo but I’ll save that story for another blog.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:54 am

      What a tease! Was she a brunette Swede?

  11. March 4, 2010 11:25 pm

    Generally foreign movies are so much better than American. I wish there were more theatres in South Florida that played them. I can’t think of the name of the one that was remade with Richard Gere as a gigalo, but it didn’t compare in the least to the original. Hollywood itself is a whole different genre unto itself and should just stick to being Hollywood.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 10:56 am

      I disagree that foreign movies are generally better than American. Have you ever tired to watch Fellini’s Satyricon? It’s like a home movie with a bunch of non-professional actors instructed to be pretend to be degenerates. Plus, we generally only get the good stuff here. The really bad foreign films seldom find anyone willing to pay for American distribution. But foreign films are different, which is enough. Different is always good.

  12. Mimi permalink
    March 5, 2010 9:39 am

    I don’t understand the justification for slamming movies or casting before anyone has seen it, or in the case of Dragon Tattoo, without knowing who might be up to making an American version, which I’m pretty sure will happen eventually.

    Why do foreign movies get re-made into “American” versions? Because they’re great stories and Americans don’t like watching films with sub-titles or listening to “funny” accents in the case of some Brit films.

    Some Hollywood remakes are awful, but not all. Don’t go see the remake if you have a closed mind against all remakes, but there’s a possibility one might be missing something good, and seeing both versions of films, one can offer opinions based on actual viewing experience rather than blind prejudice.

    The Swedish language Dragon will be available on Netflix soon. It’s in my queue, since I doubt it’ll show up here in South Florida theaters, alas. No matter how we see the original, nothing will rob us of that experience. I, for one, am willing to see more than one interpretation of a good story. If the remake is bad, I’ll join the disgusted chorus… just not until I actually see the finished film.

    As for prospective Hollywood casting, Stewart looks like Lisbeth, at least. I reserve judgement on her acting. If not her, who then? Russell Crowe would be a terrific Bloomquist.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 11:05 am

      Russell Crowe is almost always terrific, even when he’s in a completely unnecessary remake, such as State of Play (see the British miniseres, available on DVD), but that’s neither here nor there. Everything you say about not prejudging a movie before we’ve seen it is true as far as it goes, but if we adhered to that principle rigidly, look at what a fun discussion we’d have missed! Besides, the track record of Hollywood remaking foreign films is so abysmally bad, I think we have a large enough sample to make a scientific hypothesis: An American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will suck, with or without Kristen Stewart.

      Thanks for your thoughts. I say again, you are right about almost everything. I hope you’re wrong about the Swedish Tattoo not playing in South Florida. And what’s up with Americans not being willing to watch movies with subtitles? Maybe that’s slowly changing. Inglorious Basterds, the latest Quentin Tarantino gore-and-yuck fest is replete with subtitles, and still made a lot of money…

    • A-K87 permalink
      March 5, 2010 4:30 pm

      Mimi, are you making the mistake in saying that Kristen looks like Lisbeth because she looks like Noomi Rapace? Larsson says that she is about 124 or 150 cms tall (4’9) and weighing 40kgs (88 pounds) and he says she has such high cheek bones she has ‘almost an asian look.’ I remember her being referred to as looking like she had just emerged from a week long orgy!

      I think everyone is getting excited about Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and thinking ‘wow, she’s badass.. Lisbeth is badass… wow, she’s bi-sexual.. Lisbeth is bi-sexual… maybe Kristen should play Lisbeth.’ People wrongly assume (because of the title of the books) that Millennium is another teen franchise series. Kristen isn’t talented enough to pull Salander off.

      My fingers are crossed for Ellen Page as Salander. If they cast Salander everything will fall into place. I’d prefer if they changed location so to distinguish from the Noomi Rapace movie. Making another film so soon based in Sweden is redundant. Perhaps Canada?

      By the way I bloody love subtitled films (we do in the UK) but it’s great that the US version has such a fantastic act to follow.

  13. Nick permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:49 am

    I have seen interviews of both Noomi and the guy who plays Bromquist. They both speak perfectly good English, as most Scandinavians do. Why not have them remake the movie in Hollywood. Of course, this makes the most sense – which means it won’t play in Hollywood, right? Thank God we’ll have the Swedish versions of all three books!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 5, 2010 11:09 am

      They could just do a dubbed version. Yes, I hate movies dubbed into English, much preferring subtitles. But maybe if the exact same actors did the overdubbing, it wouldn’t be so bad. Last night I caught a few minutes of Bull Durham on TV. It was hilarious. Every time someone said the F-bomb, the actor’s voice just went “mumble-mumble-mumble.” But it was the real actor’s voice, so it was tolerable.

      • boss permalink
        March 14, 2010 7:23 am

        Dubbed versions aren’t so bad. I watch dubbed american movies all the time and they sound completely the same.

        I also read the critics for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and they were fascinated by it. So instead of dubbing the movie some people decided that it should make another movie. Do they think that they get the same success?

  14. Karla permalink
    March 5, 2010 2:07 pm

    Hey Mimi get off your high horse and come down and play with the rest of us. Its much more fun down here.

  15. Connie permalink
    March 5, 2010 3:53 pm

    I don’t care if it’s obnoxious or not: I shudder to think of Kristen Stewart in an American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. SHUDDER, I tell you. As you know I’m obsessed with the books, but I have no doubt that Hollywood, sensing box office like a shark in chum-filled waters, will choose poorly (even if they don’t choose Stewart) in casting, and let me tell you, Russell Crowe is the LEAST of my worries in terms of who plays Blomqvist.

    American remakes are almost always bad. There are exceptions, particularly on TV: The BBC’s “The Office” is genius, but the American version muddled its way into being a pretty damn good TV show. This rarely seems to be the case in film.

    Now as soon as I post this I’ll think of an American version of something that I liked.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 6, 2010 12:44 am

      Yes, the worst possible fear for Blomqvist is Al Pacino. Right? I mean, short of Tom Green…

      TV is so much better than movies right now, and has been for sometime, that giving it credit for remaking British things well is beside the point, and accrues no virtue to Hollywood in general. I mean, I went to see Crazy Heart a couple of weeks ago, supposedly one of the best movies around these days, and it was pretty good, not great. Nothing to match the consistent quality and grown-up humanism of everything from Southland (which just had a serious subplot about alcoholism more nuanced than Crazy Heart) to Caprica to Fringe — and these are just the shows not in hiatus that I myself actually watch.

      But I’ll bet you’ve already seen the Swedish version of TGWTDT — how was it?

  16. A-K87 permalink
    March 5, 2010 3:59 pm

    Kristen Stewart is the most over rated young actress today. She isn’t talented enough to pull off the ‘most original and compelling heroine in modern fiction’. The only combo which Hollywood would do well with is Ellen Page (Hard Candy, Juno) and George Clooney. I’m not a Clooney fan but he’s got box office pull and as much as I love Blomqvist he won’t be a challenge for him to convey: the charming-rugged but handsome- doesn’t play by the rules- moral crusading- character. In the first book Blomqvist is really the main character so Clooney will get the average Joe Public hooked to the trilogy! I’d love to see Dominic West as Blomqvist; Kalle Blomqvist reminds me of McNulty from The Wire.

    Page is 5ftish, has an androgenous beauty and in Hard Candy (2005) she pulls off an uncanny Salander audition as the hunter/ prey of a paedophile. Her performance in that movie deserved more praise. She’s a very talented actress and is so much more than just ‘Juno’.

    p.s. I can’t wait to see Noomi Rapace in TGWTDT in a week here in the UK

    p.p.s It isn’t strictly a remake from Sony but a totally new adaptation of the book from Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster, Gangs of New York) and produced by the company who did the Swedish language movies along with Scott Rudin (No Country For Old Men, Doubt, There Will Be Blood) so is in good hands.

    • Carmen permalink
      June 11, 2010 1:38 am

      Ellen Page and George Clooney? The two of them in a sexual relationship seems highly improbable. Ellen Page in a highly sexual role at all is just plain bad. Just curious besides Twilight and Panic Room what movies have you seen Kristen Stewart in? Have you actually watched the Runaways? Welcome to the Rileys?

  17. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 6, 2010 12:52 am

    Well, my point is that the remake needs not be made in any case, and those of us of finer sensibilities should exert ourselves to see the Swedish version. Obviously, though, I share your trepidation about Kristen Stewart as Lisbeth, but not your enthusiasm for Ellen Page — a talented actress, no doubt, but too closely associated with the cute edginess of Juno. I think, if a remake does have to be filmed, they need to find an unknown. I do love the notion of Dominic West as Blomqvist, but he’s not a big enough name. I would like to see the Cohen Bros. direct the thing. They took a really bad book, with No Country for Old Men, and made a really good movie out of it.

    • A-K87 permalink
      March 6, 2010 8:42 am

      I see what you’re saying, Chauncery. There is no need but it’s going to happen. I predict that they’re move he setting to North America and perhaps the fictional location of Hedeby Island would be moved to a snowy Newfoundland and Labrador.

      Cohens Bros. is a good idea. It makes sense since Scott Rudin produced No Country and is producing the Sony movie. Chauncey, I’d love an unknown as Salander but that’s really not going to happen. They’ll want top billers for box office pull. I predict that they’ll go for Natalie Portman and it could be a career resurrection for her.

      Have you seen Ellen Page in Hard Candy? Honestly, it is Salander all over. Juno was 2007 and this movie is going to be 2012 at least. 5 years is a long time to forget about iconic roles.

      The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is coming out here in the UK on Friday 12th with a 18 certificate (equivalent to US R rating.) and the only way the US version is going to be accurate to the novel is if it was a R rating. I hope they do not (like the Lovely Bones) cut out all of the brutal rape and violence.

      Cast Predicitions: Salander: Ellen Page or Natalie Portman: Lisbeth Salander. Blomqvist: George Clooney. Berger: Julia Roberts. Henrik Vanger: Martin Sheen. Nils Bjurman: Philip Seymour Hoffman.

      It would be great if they put som Swedish actors in there like Stellan Skarsgard as Martin Vanger and Mail Ackerman as Malin Erikson

    • A-K87 permalink
      March 6, 2010 8:43 am

      I see what you’re saying, Chauncery. There is no need but it’s going to happen. I predict that they’re move he setting to North America and perhaps the fictional location of Hedeby Island would be moved to a snowy Newfoundland and Labrador.

      Cohens Bros. is a good idea. It makes sense since Scott Rudin produced No Country and is producing the Sony movie. Chauncey, I’d love an unknown as Salander but that’s really not going to happen. They’ll want top billers for box office pull. I predict that they’ll go for Natalie Portman and it could be a career resurrection for her.

      Have you seen Ellen Page in Hard Candy? Honestly, it is Salander all over. Juno was 2007 and this movie is going to be 2012 at least. 5 years is a long time to forget about iconic roles.

      The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is coming out here in the UK on Friday 12th with a 18 certificate (equivalent to US R rating.) and the only way the US version is going to be accurate to the novel is if it was a R rating. I hope they do not (like the Lovely Bones) cut out all of the brutal rape and violence.

      Cast Predicitions: Salander: Ellen Page or Natalie Portman: Lisbeth Salander. Blomqvist: George Clooney. Berger: Julia Roberts. Henrik Vanger: Martin Sheen. Nils Bjurman: Philip Seymour Hoffman.

      It would be great if they put som Swedish actors in there like Stellan Skarsgard as Martin Vanger and Malin Ackerman as Malin Erikson

      • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
        March 6, 2010 12:26 pm

        Cogent comments. You’ve persuaded me regarding Ellen Page, though I still fantasize about an unknown for the role. I have not seen Hard Candy — castration films not being my favorite genre; I will never see Antichrist for the same reason (different gender) — but I can admire it vicariously as refracted through the reviews of critics and friends whose taste I respect. I hope Hollywood shows more imagination in casting than you expect, though, of course, I have almost no reason to expect such. I do doubt producers will pony up for Clooney and Roberts and Portman. We’ll see. Interesting you should mention Stellan Skarsgard, since not only has he established himself as a terrific Hollywood character actor, he was also the lead in the original version of Insomnia, a role taken over by the ubiquitous Al Pacino in the U.S. remake.

  18. O Cam permalink
    March 6, 2010 10:43 am

    I can’t believe these comments or the bloggers nerve to ditz 19 year old Kristen Stewart without obvious knowledge of her previous work and critical acclaim from the likes of Sean Penn, Bruce Dern, and I could go on but do your own research, especially regarding her work on The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys, the Cakeeaters (age 16) and Into The Wild. Read what the critcs from Sundance 2010 have to say about her, but it won’t really matter because this year will be a critically acclaimed year for her outside of Twilight. Ignorance makes me so angry. Not to say this trilogy will do any better than any other HW production that tries to take on a successful foreign film or series, but those that are criticizing Kristen will definitely be eating your words in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Sony offers the role of Lisbeth S to her. Watch The Runaways and then get real. This girl will be up for an Oscar nom in her 20s. And Chauncey do your damn homework.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 6, 2010 12:45 pm

      At last, a KS partisan heard from! You make a passionate case for her talent, and I applaud you for it, even if I am not quite persuaded. Besides, like and dislike for actors is a matter of taste and peeve, as you surely know. Don’t you have some actors you can’t abide, no matter how gifted? My list began with Liza Minnelli and quickly expanded to include Jack Lemon. Heading the list now is Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightly, and oh my God that great AHK-tohr, Anthony Hopkins. Oh, yeah: Christian Bale, too.

      It’s a changeable list, though. Actors can win their way off it. Bill Murray was once on it, now he’s not. Same with Laura Linney.

      Homework? Research? Facts?What do you think this is, a newspaper? Homework, research and facts are the luxuries of print journalism. I suggest you get used to doing without them. Like a lot of bloggers, I do my best to keep the facts straight, but the pace of Internet “journalism,” the lack of resources and support staff (like, say, copy editors, research librarians, content editors, editorial assistants — common at newspapers and magazines until, lessee, about a year and a-half ago) make it impossible to maintain the standards we all took for granted before the Digital Revolution.

      Homework? Research? Facts? Those are cute kids run over on the information away. Get used to their replacements: Rumor, half-assed opinion, and what’s amusingly known as “participatory journalism.”

  19. O Cam permalink
    March 6, 2010 11:27 am

    One more comment. Joan Jett was on set with Kristen Stewart for The Runaways, so please read what Joan has to say about Kristen. It was a “surreal” experience for Joan, and she and Kristen are very close friends now. I have a feeling Kristen will receive more critical acclaim from Welcome to the Rileys, but that remains to be seen. The acclaimed WTTRs cast, James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo have nothing but praise for Kristen’s extraordinary talent. Yes extraordinary. Keep watching and check out the critic responses from Sundance. Oh and James Woods will direct her in An American Girl, which is in development with indications of a 2012 release date. James says it will be a slam dunk Oscar for Kristen.

    • June 11, 2010 1:42 am

      O Cam-
      Went to Sundance this year. Welcome to the Rileys was unbelieveable. It is beyond me that anyone who sees that movie cannot appreciate the acting talent that is Kristen Stewart.

  20. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 6, 2010 1:07 pm

    Nothing will make me happier than for you to be proved right. I do not enjoying hating actors who are suddenly being CAST IN EVERYTHING.

    In fact, that’s the single most important criteria for getting on my no-go list. An actor gets hot, and suddenly he or she is in everything. Nicole Kidman, a thinly talented actress, nice enough in pictures like To Die For or The Others. But suddenly she’s Virginia Wolfe, she’s Diane Arbus (!), she’s in thrillers (The Interpreter), she’s a Civil War southerner (Cold Mountain), she’s in The Stepford Wives, Bewitched, The Invasion. Christian Bale — why does he get to be Batman AND John Connor?!? That’s just wrong. Keira Knightly has enjoyed a similar career path to ubiquity, and I fear, so is dear Kristen Stewart. The very list of upcoming films you use to argue her talent is proof.

    And talk is cheap. Just as Joan Jett is praising KS at the moment, so Anne Rice lauded Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis. Does anyone seriously think those were good casting choices? Can anyone watch Interview with the Vampire today without falling off the couch in a fit of giggles?

    Oscars are cheap, too. Marisa Tomei is one terrific actor, and I always enjoy seeing her, but there is no way she deserved a supporting Oscar for My Cousin Vinnie. Please. And Nicholas Cage, the biggest hack in Hollywood, won the acting Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1995 — the same year Sean Penn gave an infinitely superior performance as the condemned inmate in Dead Man Walking?!?

    I don’t mean to belittle you or your support for KS. You’re entitled to your opinion, and you state your arguments well, and I’m very grateful you shared them with us.

    • O Cam permalink
      March 6, 2010 4:06 pm

      Actually I have to agree with you regarding some of the actors you have mentioned.

      After seeing Speak when Kristen was 13, and Cakeeaters at the age of 16, it was obvious those are roles not just anyone can take on without looking like a fool, even a talented young actor. My gut says Kristen is special, as is James Mcavoy and Daniel Day Lewis. My favs. She doesn’t interview well. Her brain is way ahead of her mouth, but there isn’t another actor as young as she is that would have the courage to take on JJ, a terminally ill teenager that included a special speech technique and body modulation, and a foul mouth, underaged, damaged stripper with such touching and insightful meaning. This isn’t a pop tarts high school musical kid. She was turned away when auditioning for those roles.

      Bruce Dern said in an interview after working with her in the Cakeeaters that another actress will come along like her in 2035 because she is that “unique”. He said he has only seen 2 other actresses that are as special as her, and they are much older.

      Meryl S said too many actors spend too much time on THEM, and not enough time learning about others. Good actors are interested, and that makes them interesting. When their interest is self directed, their ability to be authentic is compromised. When Kristen was interviewed at Sundance regarding her role in WTTRs, she said she wouldn’t want one of the homeless young strippers she met while preparing for this role to say “that isn’t the way it is”. Sounds like she gets what Meryl is talking about, simply because she cares.

      It’s amazing the kind of criticism she has gotten on the internet, the primary multitude of it associated with the hottie actor she is dating, that overshadows this amazingly special girl who takes her work so seriously. Whether this is true or not, I’ve heard the Lisbeth S role has been offered to her. Quite frankly I wonder if she will want to do another trilogy and if she has concerns regarding the fact that HW remakes don’t traditionally do as well. Also, in interviews Kristen says the role has to speak to her. I can’t imagine the role of the complex Lisbeth not speaking to her, but apparently Sony wants to start filming this next year if the stars align properly. Kristen is tied to the Twilight series possibly through April/May of next year, so she could have scheduling conflicts anyway.

      I did feel the picture of her smoking pot on the porch was a low blow. One picture, and how many slanderous remarks out there regarding a “sleepy” drug induced lifestyle. Thanks for listening to my rant, and vocalizing your opinions as well.

      I’ll see both versions of this trilogy regardless.

      • O Cam permalink
        March 6, 2010 4:17 pm

        One last thing, talking about Sean Penn, that would be Sam I Am for me. A beautiful film. Also if Kristen did take on Lisbeth, I see good chemistry between her and Ed Norton. I have no idea why he did the Hulk. That blew my mind.

      • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
        March 6, 2010 5:41 pm

        I wonder about that pot-smoking-on-the-porch series of photos. A) Could she possibly be so naive as to think she could smoke a bowl on the porch, in what appears to be her jammies, and no paprazzi will notice? B) If she’s not so naive, then what is her motivation for exposing herself — who is she thumbing her nose at? C) I actually have come to find the photos endearing and humanizing (who among us has not done similar things), and they inspire fatherly feelings in me. She looks like any college girl enjoying a little wake-and-bake. In any case, they don’t seem to have damaged her career in any way.

        I think the nasty stuff on the Internet arises from two factors: Almost as many people hate Twilight as love it, and she’s an easy target for their contempt. And, as I say above, she’s already taking on too many roles, overexposing herself. If she’s as gifted as you think, then I hope she becomes highly selective int he parts she takes on.

        Oh, and while I admire Meryl as much as anyone, I’m not so much impressed by her accent of the week thing, which strikes me as an annoying gimmick, rather than a sign of genius. I generally think roles should go to actors of the appropriate nationality. Thus, an American should have played Nixon, not Anthony Hopkins, and a Brit should have played Bridget Jones, not Ree Zellwegger, and a Dane most certainly should have played Karen Blixen in Out of Africa.

        I know, I know, exceptions abound, like Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans, but still.

        As for Ed Norton, a great actor, but I suspect he’s gotten the idea he can do anything and excel at it, which of course is wrong. Is he old enough to play Blomqvist, though?

      • boss permalink
        March 14, 2010 7:38 am

        @O Cam

        About the extraordinary talent comment. Didn’t Meryl Streep say the same about Lindsay Lohan after they shoot one film together? Yes. Does that mean that she’s an extraordinary talent? No. Which movies did she do in the last years? Just because the cast of the movie says something good about one person doesn’t mean that they aren’t exaggerating a bit. You can go through every movie and read how amazing someone is. That’s nothing special.

  21. O Cam permalink
    March 6, 2010 6:30 pm

    I don’t think Ed is old enough, but as much as I can see Philip Seymour Hoffman in that role, I can’t see him with KStew. George C, god forbid.

    Last of the Mohicans was filmed practically in my sister’s backyard.

    Actually you’d be surprised how picky Kristen Stewart is, and I’m sure she is overtly aware of over exposure. She has struggled handling the blow up that is Twilight. As far as I can tell she isn’t filming this year. Her popularity though helped bring a little film she did 3 years ago out of the woodwork called The Yellow Hankerchief. Haven’t seen it. It is in very limited theaters right now. WTTRs was filmed before the first Twilight film came out. By the way pick B for the pot smoking.

    Actually liked Meryl in Out of Africa. I would love to see Sandra Bullock win the Oscar this year for Blind Side, but Meryl did a great Julia, so performance wise it should probably go to her. Hope everything about Hurt Locker knocks James Cameron out of the water too. Christoph Waltz made my year though. I have this wicked love for his character as the Jew Hunter, and for some reason it reminds me of similar feelings I had for F Murray Abraham when he played Salieri in Amadeus. There was something twistedly comical about them both. How is it possible to like and enjoy these evil characters so much unless the actors pull off something amazing. CW doesn’t have competition for Best Supporting Actor this year. Enjoy your blog, even though it can be a little exasperating LOL!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 7, 2010 10:04 am

      Your sister lives in North Carolina? Beautiful state, right next door to my own of origin, the southwestern mountains of Virginy.

      Forced into the voluntary servitude of freelance writing, I did not see all the movies you mention last year. I agree about Christopher Waltz, though. He was a revelation, and I hope to see him in lots of stuff in the future. I do not quite know, either, the source of the joy we can get from watching a great actor play a villain with gusto. I like to think it’s something profound and Aristotelian about catharsis or something.

      Thanks for the kind words. I wish more people would write to disagree with me.

  22. A-K87 permalink
    March 6, 2010 8:32 pm

    O Cam and Chauncey I’ve been reading your comments with glee. I’m in the UK so was out all day and missed your exchange.

    To O Cam: With respect I really do not understand exactly what makes you think that Stewart is capable of portraying Lisbeth Salander. You have referred to supposed commendations from the likes of Sean Penn, Bruce Dern and Sundance critics but I honestly don’t think that makes a difference. Having read the complete Millennium trilogy, I accept that the Salander character is truly unique, complex and compelling: sufferer of something similar to asperger’s syndrome, legally incompetent, a victim of a savage rape, looking like a teenage boy, a world classed computer hacker and solves 400 year old mathematics problems in her spare time. In short she is an anti- heroine. In many ways Lisbeth Salander is a modern caricature of Pippi Longstockings. Noomi Rapace has done a marvellous job just to make the character seem believable on screen.

    With all respect I think perhaps either you have not read the novels or the US get watered down versions. I’m looking at IMDb and trying to remember Stewart in the movies I’ve seen. Other than The Runaways (which I haven’t seen) she doesn’t seem to have ever played a deeply challenging character. Also (and this is a big one) she is too associated with the role of Bella in The Twilight series. Although the series has many fans, it has become a huge joke for many people who find it ridiculous and juvenile. I think she is stigmatised by that in the same way that she is stigmatised by a legion of adolescent follows/ worshippers who trivialise her ‘career’. You must understand that I mean no disrespect to you or the actress.

    O Cam, by the way what you say about seeing chemistry between Edward Norton and Kristen Stewart doesn’t quite make sense. The whole point in the partnership between Blomqvist and Salander is that they are totally mismatched. They are from two very different worlds and it’s meant to be clear that they look totally at odds together. Blomqvist is a celebrity journalist and Salander is a social outcast with no stake in society. Remember the woman in the cafe in Hedeby Island who finds it creepy that Blomqvist is with, what looks like, a gothic teenager. A combo like little Ellen Page and George Clooney would be weird but that’s how the characters are juxtaposed. Philip Seymour Hoffman isn’t handsome enough to be the rugged charmer Blomqvist.

    To Chauncey: Who can you see being cast bearing in mind that Sony are going to want to attract people who don’t read crime fiction. I think they’re bring in A listers. Look at the cast State of Play and Brothers. Russell Crowe might have a big shout for Kalle Blomqvist.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 7, 2010 10:16 am

      I have to defend O Cam’s comment about chemistry between Lisabeth and Blomqvist. On screen, even antagonists must have chemistry, or the magic goes flat. If it weren’t Sunday morning, I’d think of an example, or 15.

      Russell Crowe is a genius, and I’d have no problem with him as Blomqvist, though I’d still rather see someone less obvious. I almost always enjoy Clooney, but he’s too smoothly handsome for this role. If they must Americanize the story (shudder!), they might set in the Pacific Northwest, and make Blomqvist a successful Native American writer, patterned on Sherman Alexie or someone. Wait. I take that back. That’s just dumb enough they might do it.

      If this were five years ago, I’d say Kristen Bell — did anyone see her scarifying guest stint on Deadwood? — but she’s been tamed and prettied up since then, plus I don’t know how she’d look as a brunette. I keep wanting to say Thora Birch, but I haven’t seen her in anything lately, and I’m not sure she has quite enough edge. But maybe.

      But somewhere out there, a young actress, with maybe some dumb TV credits behind her, is waiting to be discovered for just this role. Kind of like Leonardo DiCaprio just before What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, one of the great little movies of the past 20 years. Leo’s performance is a revelation, and Johnny Depp’s not so bad either.

      Hey! How about Depp as Blomqvist? Nah. Nevermind.

    • O Cam permalink
      March 7, 2010 1:09 pm

      A-K87 I couldn’t agree with you more about the Twilight Series. Rotten Tomotoes gave NM the appropriate score. This is something that “blew up” in Kristen Stewart’s face. These are her words. She is an Indie actress at heart. She intentially did WTTRs between the first two Twi movies, and will continue to make smart moves. People will always give her a hard time about the Twi series, which is ridiculous considering her age. Kristen did luck into a business move, aka twilight, which gave her the power to give her little movies of the future a hand. Those are her words as well.

      The Twi series has almost turned her into a flesh and blood commodity on the NY stock exchange LOL! She has got the power of a massive audience, and IMO the talent to pull Lisbeth off. She just won BAFTAs rising star, and being from the UK I guess you know how prestigous that one is. It is the British version of the Academy Awards. The Rising Star award is a double whammy. The industry nominates the young talent, and then the fans choose. Her nomination was of course based on a compilation of her work.

      I believe heavily in her talent, and fascinated by the type of roles she has taken on at such a young age, therefore hesitate to bring this tidbit up. That being said politics are a reality of life in any line of business. Sony adores Kristen. She has worked for them on a couple of projects, and that is based on how impressed they were with some of her childhood projects. Also the Exec Producer of her film WTTRs, which received high marks at Sundance, is also writing the English version for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If Kristen doesn’t play Lisbeth, I wonder if it is because she turned it down for whatever reason. We’ve probably already hit upon potential reasons via this blog. No way George C. Not to say it couldn’t happen, but George is too handsome and just too..George. He is a charmer no matter what he does, and a big box office draw, but I hope it won’t be him. Never say never though.

      • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
        March 7, 2010 4:29 pm

        I gotta say, I watched the last half hour of Twilight last night on Showtime, and I am not seeing all this talent of which you speak, O Cam.

        I’d never seen the movie before (and believe me, will not go out of my way to see the rest of the thing), so I was interested, given the timing of our recent and continuing conversation. Sorry, I detected no weight, no depth, to KS’ portrayal of Bella. I know it’s a weak role, but isn’t that one of the marks of a great actor, the ability to make an impression in a nothing part? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe O Cam is right. Hope so.

        Anna Kendrick, who was on screen for about three seconds in the section I saw, made a stronger impression. I’ll admit I may be reading quality backward into her performance, after being floored by her turn in Up in the Air.

      • boss permalink
        March 14, 2010 7:48 am

        A Bafta is the british version of an Academy Awards but not a rising star Orange Award. It’s the same as the MTV award. A popularity award. Even Kristen admitted it after getting it. She said: Thank you to my fans.

        >Sony adores Kristen. She has worked for them on a couple of projects, and that is based on how impressed they were with some of her childhood projects.<

        Let us take a look:

        Welcome to the Rileys: Sean Penn knew Kristen from his own movie (she had 10 minutes in it) and said to his friend, the director, that he should choose her.

        The Runaways: Sean Penn knows the producer and was even on set.

        The Yellow Handkerchief: They didn't want to take her. The producer spoke with Jodie Foster about the movie and she immediately told him that they should take her. Jodie made a movie with her when she was young and even said that Kristen was like a daughter for her.

        Twilight: A friend of Kristen knew the director and that director loves to give jobs to friends.

        So. Such an amazing talent that can't get a role on her own?

  23. A-K87 permalink
    March 7, 2010 3:55 pm

    It’s really interesting bouncing ideas off of you two. I’m a Law student but movies are my passion and it’s brilliant to chat to people who know their stuff!!

    I know many people aren’t keen for this US version but I am excited mainly about who they will cast and what will become of them. Chauncey has got me hooked on the idea of the Coen Bros. directing!! Although it wouldn’t surprise me if Ron Howard and his Robert Langdon experience gives him Sony’s approval.

    The Rising Star Award is very prestigous. It would be easy to suggest that her Twi-Hard fanbase drove that win but that clearly isn’t the case. She was presented the award by the previous winner, Noel Clarke. He, arguably is the most multitalented young person in UK cinema today. Admittedly I found it slightly hard to stomach her put in the same class as him. Earlier I claimed that she is the most overrated young actress today and I stand by that comment. It is off putting when ever you pick up a newspaper or magazine there is something on her. However, now, I am more persuaded as to her clear potential.

    Why do you think Kristen would turn down this role? Do you think the US script will be watered down? Less sex, rape and nazi references?

    Pacific Northwest sounds interesting? I’ve been to Seattle many times and also Oregon is beautiful. I’d love to hear much more information released!! Has the claim that Kristen Stewart and George Clooney being Sony’s ‘only option’ for Sony ever been substantiated? Has the presence of Scott Rudin and Steven Zaillian on the team ever been confirmed or are they only in talks?

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 7, 2010 4:37 pm

      If Ron Howard gets the directing job, then I’m done, out of the conversation, and will NEVER go see the movie. What a HACK! Only Robert Zemeckis and Chris Columbus are worse. Maybe give it to Eli Roth…It might be awful, but it’d be awful in a really interesting way. Ramp up the ante in the rape and torture scenes…

      I take back the suggestion of the Pac NW for the setting. After last night, I remembered Twilight is set in the region, and no matter how much affection I have for its cinematic depiction (thanks to Twin Peaks, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho), I’d rther not see it there, especially if KS is cast as Lisabeth. Now I’m thinking — Minnesoh-tah! Perfect for the Coens.

  24. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 7, 2010 4:38 pm

    Plus, Minnesota is full of Swedes and other Scandanavians, for what that’s worth…

    • O Cam permalink
      March 7, 2010 7:21 pm

      Chauncey you are a hard one!! We need to have this conversation about Kristen in 2 years, or after you see The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys. I love Ron Howard!! Coens sound good for this project though.

      A-K87 did you see what Noel Clarke said about Kristen? I adore him by the way. Hope it is OK that I posted his twitter comments about her here.

      “In closing, don’t have a bad word to say about Ms Stewart. And there is no agenda here, I’m not kissing anyone’s ass. I don’t do that… I’m not getting anything for this, I don’t profess to know her because of our one meeting, I’m not on her radar, probably won’t get to work with her and I may never see her again, But she was genuinely a really, very nice girl, and being on the jury I had to watch almost every movie she’s done, that we could get our hands on from the last few years and the girl can fucking act, there is no question about that.”

      OK, why do I think she might turn the role down? I honestly can’t imagine why a literary figure this fascinating wouldn’t speak to her, and she says she bases everything on that. However her family is in the biz, and I think she is savvy about her career moves. Chauncey mentioned over exposure, which is a good one. While her Twi co stars are lining up projects left and right trying to strike while the iron is hot, Kristen is hush hush about any new projects for this year, and only has An American Girl lined up for 2012. Not to say it isn’t possible she is holding back on something major in the works. Also she has mentioned in interviews that Twilight blew up in her face, so I don’t know how keen she would be on doing another trilogy. I can also see her weigh the prospect of doing a HW remake of a very successful Euro series. Maybe that is a turn off.

      Here ya go. Steven Zaillian’s IMDB. Exec Producer for WTTRs, and he already has The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in development. He wrote Schindlers by the way. No bad, huh.

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001873/

  25. Ashley Kamoto permalink
    March 7, 2010 8:48 pm

    That’s what is getting me excited. Zaillian and Rudin could make this magnificient. I know Rec/ Quarantine and Let The Right One In/ Let Me In have set a horribel precedent but this time it could be great.

    I see on IMDb that Zaillian is doing the TimeCrimes remake. Seriously that is such a fantastically ambitious films to make. It’s great. Don’t read reviews watch it witha fresh mind and you will be impressed. Hollywood remake of the 2007 Spanish film was inevitable.

    O Cam, you’re very persuasive. I might watch The Runaways when it is out. If I promise to watch that movie will you hire Hard Candy with Ellen Page next time you can’t decide on what to hire in Blockbusters? Then tell me Ellen Page doesn’t have a Lisbeth Salander shout? Kudos on the loving Ron Howard!

    Chauncey, perhaps North East USA. Have you ever seen the Shipping News? That’s in Newfoundland. That’s where the idea came from for Hedeby Island. They need snow and isolation whatever they do.

    p.s. O Cam does your pink motif next to your comments mean you are female?

  26. Ashley Kamoto permalink
    March 7, 2010 8:50 pm

    Please excuse my terrible spelling its late here over the pond.

  27. GOD permalink
    April 6, 2010 8:43 pm

    Haters of the world unite!…or not. Jealousy is so gross and only gives strength to the target. Kristen Stewart has and will have a great career with or without your “tattoo”. Now, go drool over some pics of her faux boyfriend or whatever it is that losers do.

  28. Elyse24 permalink
    April 6, 2010 9:19 pm

    “Suddenly being cast in everything?” Are you the same people that fawned over the Backstreet Boys? Was Britney Spears the greatest entertainer?

    You crackpots seem like the “mainstream” that Hollywood money caters to. The only films of KS that I haven’t seen are Twilight (or any of this “saga”) and the Messengers. While I can’t hold a knowledgeable opinion of something I’ve never seen; I can honestly say that I don’t regret not seeing this “blockbuster” of a bunch of vampire crap.

    Believe it or not, sometimes actors work for nothing but the money. KS made the fatal mistake of thinking this “independent” movie would fly under the popularity radar just like the other films she has made. So sad that you oh so knowledgeable critics haven’t seen her other works where she actually acts! The mainstream like you don’t even recognize her from Panic room because you thought she was a boy…named Sarah. I highly doubt that you’ve ever seen Speak, The Safety of Objects or any of her long list of very good indie films… unless you thought she was a boy there, too.

    What bad luck for you that you’ve never seen her real work! What bad luck for her that the first time she does a movie strictly for the $$$ it becomes a smash, blows up in her face and spawns four more evil bastard flicks. KS punishment is that she will always be Bella; not only because she got a little greedy, but, also because Twilight fans (like you and you and yeah, you too) are far too low class and commercially susceptible to have ever seen a REAL indie film.

    Here’s to your pathetic lack of taste! Here’s to KS’ next 7 years of filming these horrible Twilight movies! Seems like a lose lose situation. Well, at least you’re not contracted to your stupidity; she however is contractually screwed!

  29. April 20, 2010 7:33 am

    heyy i love u

  30. Leonie permalink
    April 24, 2010 11:40 pm

    I just think it’s the height of arrogance that an American version is deemed required. Or is it a statement by Hollywood about their estimation of the American public? If so, it’s pretty low.

    • Tommy Smart permalink
      April 25, 2010 2:13 am

      Leonie, please explain why you feel an American studio remaking this film is so arrogant, or why you believe Hollywood has such a dim view of the viewing public.

      I am happy they are going to remake the Swedish version. Have you seen the Swedish version? It is horrible. To be fair they did not have much to work with. Stieg Larsson’s masterpiece is overweight and dull. Only an American studio could make Blomkvist eating sandwiches watchable.

  31. Josefin permalink
    April 25, 2010 8:03 am

    Here in Sweden we’ve had the opportunity to watch all three movies on national television the past six weeks. I’ve only watched the first movie (Män som hatar kvinnor – Men who hate women, or The girl with the dragon tattoo as it’s called in english) in cinema and that one is the best of the three.

    I have to say that I’m very happy – and surprised! – to see that a lot of you are against a Hollywood remake of the movie. Here in Sweden the impression is that americans don’t like foreign movies and always want their own versions, and I can’t understand why. In Sweden we have subtitles to all foreign movies but cartoons and movies for younger kids (but almost always you can watch them in swedish or in english with swedish subtitle).

    It will be very interesting to watch the Hollywood version, but I believe it won’t be as good as the swedish original. Hollywood is too cowardly😉

    Greetings from Sweden!🙂
    /Josefin

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      May 9, 2010 9:07 am

      Well, not only is Hollywood cowardly — I was say timid, or cautious — but it is also most often not equiped to adequately translate a movie from a foreign language and culture into American English, if you know what I mean. Why not leave it in the original version, made by people from the culture in which it was incubated? I think of Insomnia, the 1997 Swedish thriller starring Stellan Skarsgard, made into a ponderously unappetizing 2002 Hollywood movie starring Al Pacino. It was relocated (of course) from Sweden and Northern Norway, to Los Angeles and Alaska. Snore.

      I could sight more examples but you get the idea.

      Great to hear from a friend in Scandinavia!

  32. Domenic Papa permalink
    May 9, 2010 5:22 am

    I think they remake successful foreign language films because audiences are lazy. I have read reviews by people complaining about and walking out of subtitled films.

    You remake the film to ride the band wagon. English speaking moviegoers then see the film because the dont want to think too hard. Then to make it worst if there to lazy to read subtitles then why not dumb the movie down for them, trim the plot, ramp up the sex and violence and hey presto!!!

    To me the sad bit is that when they remake films like this they remake it as an “American”film. So a film like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ends in a shoot out between all parties with Lisbeth either standing over the body, smoking gun in hand symbolic of the only form of justice is revenge and revenge for all the evils befalling women.

    OR she will need to be saved at the last minute by Bloomkrist (I think I spelt that wrong) because woman cant be seen as too powerful or violent.

    Americans make great films! I grew up on them. British films are great and very different to American films. Foreign films are great because you get to see the world through their eyes for a while….

    But its a business and in the long run its really all just about the $$$$$$’s

    (oh BTW I reckon “The Birdcage” stands up against “La Cage Aux Folles” alright hard to tell which is funnier…T think the birdcage was saved by great casting especially Nathan Lane0

    Thanks for reading this far
    Domenic

  33. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    May 9, 2010 9:13 am

    Domenic, you make excellent points. It will be hilariously inappropriate if Hollywood makes a version in which Lisbeth has to be rescued by a man –since the original Swedish title is “Men Who Hate Women.”

    Your best point is that all countries (even the U.S.!) makes great movies, and it’s a pleasure and privilege to watch films from other cultures. We are best advised to expose ourselves to other cutlures and other points of view.

    Not only are American moviegoers lazy, they are also prey to the assumptions of American exceptionalism: Anything not American can’t be as good. I’m sorry to report this sad fact, but it is true.

  34. Domenic Papa permalink
    May 11, 2010 5:13 pm

    Thank you for your comments. I guess I should add that as an Australian even American films are technically foreign films to me.

    I look forward to reading more interesting discussions on this site.

    Keep up the good work everybody..nice to see an opinion site not turn into a “flame” fest.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      July 20, 2010 6:08 pm

      Thanks for the kind words. Please comment any — or every — day.

  35. July 10, 2010 2:40 am

    I fully agree with you! I read the book and saw the movie and the thought of Kristen Stewart playing Lisbeth makes my skin crawl. After her horrific portrayal of Joan Jett (one of my idols) made me cringe.

    Some foreign movies should not be messed with and any true fan of the Millennium series will not have an issue watching the film in either subtitled or dubbed versions. If Hollywood feels the need to remake it, then they need to realize that by dumbing it down, it will only cheapen the theme and styling of the books. But then again, maybe by remaking it, Hollywood just assumes that we are a bunch of stupid, conformist sheep. Personally, I’ll stick with the Swedish version of the film.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      July 20, 2010 6:17 pm

      I cannot bring myself to see Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett. Or, for that matter, Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. And Jackie Fox, the band’s original bassist, isn’t in the movie at all, her role being fictionalized for reasons beyond credibility as “Robin.” So, no. Decidedly not. As for the Americanization of Millennium, keep in mind: Not only will Hollywood cast pretty American actors, they’ll almost certainly move the action here, too. Maine, or maybe Minnesota…Argh.

  36. LittleImpaler permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:24 am

    I saw the movie in Swedish and it was bloody fantastic and the girl that played Lizbeth was off the chain. I don’t want them to remake this movie. The original is awesome, there is no need to make it. Hollywood is going to screw it up big time.

  37. Sean permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:04 am

    Minnesota is Sweden with more lakes.

  38. May 4, 2011 7:48 pm

    Grab a bag of good books, and away we go!

  39. August 7, 2011 7:35 am

    Is it that americans don’t want to read subtitles – or can’t?
    the dubbing on TGWTDT is awful

  40. December 14, 2012 8:14 am

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this publish and if I could I want to suggest
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  41. June 27, 2014 4:58 am

    Do you really think anyone will be saying that kind of thing a year or two from now about an American version??

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