Tag: Stellan Skarsgard

Staff Pick: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

Rooney Mara The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2011 640

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is one of David Fincher’s best films, which is saying a lot. This psychological thriller was adapted from the novel of the same name by Swedish author Stieg Larsson and fits right into Fincher’s wheelhouse. It’s dark, intense and twisted, and it’s a must-see film.


The film follows the intertwined stories of two main characters: Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, a fiercely intelligent and unconventional computer hacker.

The film begins with Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a journalist at Millennium magazine, losing a high-profile libel case against corrupt businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström. With his reputation tarnished, Blomkvist feels he has no choice but to take a leave of absence from the magazine. He is then approached by wealthy retired industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), who offers him a job to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, who vanished 40 years ago. Vanger believes that Harriet was murdered by a member of his own dysfunctional family.

Meanwhile, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a skilled computer hacker with a troubled past, is introduced when she conducts a background check on Blomkvist for Vanger’s lawyer. Despite her social awkwardness and unorthodox appearance, Lisbeth is a brilliant investigator, and her report on Blomkvist ultimately leads to his hiring by Vanger.

As Blomkvist delves into the Vanger family history, he uncovers a series of brutal murders connected to Harriet’s disappearance. He realizes he needs assistance and, after learning about Lisbeth’s skills, recruits her to help him with the investigation. Together, they form an unlikely partnership, with Lisbeth using her hacking skills and Blomkvist’s journalistic expertise to unravel the mystery.

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth

Rooney Mara delivers a stunning and breathtaking performance as Lisbeth Salander, who is one of the more unique and compelling characters we’ve seen in years.

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Tuesday night trailer: Halle Berry goes full dissociative in “Frankie and Alice”

Members of the headshrinking community can’t even agree whether dissociative identity disorder, aka multiple personality, even exists, but it sure makes for award-winning drama. It got Joanne Woodward, with a little help from shrink Lee J. Cobb, an Oscar in Nunnally Johnson’s 1958 “The Three Faces of Eve.” It helped Sally Field, costarring with Ms. Woodward as Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, shed her “Flying Nun”/”Gidget” past with a nice shiny Emmy for 1976’s “Sybil.”

Now Halle Berry, or at least her producers, are apparently hoping for a bit more of that award-winning subject matter. This time there’s a racial twist and Stellan Skarsgard is probably just the right guy to step into the weighty shoes of the Woodward/Cobb role. Phylicia Rashad costars as Berry’s mom who, if “Frankie and Alice” runs true to form, will come in for most of the blame.

I might sound like I’m making snarky light of this as obvious Oscar bait. In a way I am, but I’m also entirely open to the possibility that, like “The Three Faces of Eve” and “Sybil” before it, “Frankie and Alice” will turn out to be a provocative, terrifically compelling drama with a first rate, if inevitably showy, lead performance. There are worse sub-sub-genres and the issue of ethnic identity and subtle self-hate is certainly not going away any time soon.

One interesting side note. Looking at the IMDb listing for this film, part of the original story credit — presumably the factual basis of the film — goes to the late Southern California-based psychologist Oscar Janiger. Janiger is best known noted for us his experimental use of LSD as a therapeutic tool during the late fifties and early sixties, with his most famous clients being Cary Grant and, a little less surprisingly, Jack Nicholson.

H/t /Film.

Entourage 5.10 — Seth Green Day

I wonder if Seth Green is a douche bag in real life too. If he isn’t, he does an excellent job of playing one on TV. We haven’t seen Dr. Evil’s lovechild since the boys brawled with Green and his buddies at a Vegas club a couple years ago, so it was a surprise to hear that Green was interested in working on a pilot written by E’s client Charlie (aka, Bow Wow; aka, Shad Moss). It wasn’t at all a surprise to hear that Green still holds a grudge for, as he remembers it, E sucker punching him. E claims otherwise, but Green says all will be forgiven if E can convince his ex Sloan to ask him to do the show. Bad news, considering Sloan was the source of all the tension between E and Green in the first place.

Was I the only one wondering why the hell E put up with Green’s shit tonight? If the studio was interested in the script, talk to them about finding someone else to do it instead of looking like a punk. Of course, maybe E really was using it all as an excuse to see Sloan, as he claimed. Regardless of his intentions, it seems likely that we’ll be seeing Sloan again soon, which I’m sure we’d all agree wouldn’t be such a bad thing. As for Green and the pilot, Charlie was the one throwing punches tonight and this time, there’s no doubt it was of the sucker variety. There’s also no doubt that Green had it coming to him after threatening to get E kicked off the project, then threatening to get Charlie kicked off the project, and all-in-all acting like a giant douche bag again.

As for E’s other client, Vince is having a rough go of it on “Smoke Jumpers.” After having his lines given away by his director (Stellan Skarsgard) on day one, Vince learns that most of his lines have been cut the following day. I wondered last week if this was a sign that Werner wasn’t a fan of Vince’s work, but the director claimed this week that he’s just trying to get the best possible performance out of Vince. It seemed that Werner genuinely liked Vince during their initial discussion in this episode, but after he picks Vince’s performance apart later, pointing out that Vince has a “head tilt” and a “lip quiver,” I take that back. (The previews for next week shine even more light on that subject….) At this point, you’ve got to wonder if Vince is even going to finish his “comeback movie.”

Finally, there’s Ari and his battle with Babs to bring buddy Andrew Klein on board. After getting some good advice from his 15-year-old daughter, Ari slathers on the nice when he meets Barbara that morning, saying “please” perhaps more often than he’s said it during the show’s previous four-plus seasons. Of course, his parting shot when Babs left his office showed Ari’s spectacular true colors: “Thanks Babs…you nasty twat,” which he followed with a hilarious impression of Beverly D’Angelo’s character. Ari did manage to secure a meeting with Babs for Andrew but the poor guy had a panic attack when he realized the deal was far from a sure thing. Um…way to prepare the guy, Ari. Maybe Babs is right – Andrew doesn’t seem cut out for Ari’s high-powered agency, but we’re going to find out for sure since Ari crashed Barbara’s “Powerful Women of Hollywood” luncheon, congratulated all the women in attendance for latching on to powerful men, threatened to split the agency Civil War-style if Babs didn’t agree to bring Andrew in, and then, once he got his way, left the women with this “apology”: “I would love to congratulate each and every one of you but, unfortunately, Barbara’s cock is all I can handle.”

So much for “Nice Ari.”

(So did E sucker punch Seth Green in that Vegas club? You be the judge….)

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