The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 film)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 film)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth Salander with Mikael Blomkvist
Swedish release poster
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Produced by Søren Stærmose
Screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel
Rasmus Heisterberg
Based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by
Stieg Larsson
Starring Noomi Rapace
Michael Nyqvist
Music by Jacob Groth
Cinematography Eric Kress
Jens Fischer
Editing by Anne Østerud
Studio Yellow Bird
Music Box Films
Alliance Films
Distributed by Nordisk Film
Release date(s) February 27, 2009 (2009-02-27)
Running time 152 minutes
Country Sweden[1]
Language Swedish
Budget $13 million[2]
Box office $104,345,682[2]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor, literally Men Who Hate Women) is a 2009 Swedish film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the trilogy known as the "Millennium series", published in Sweden in 2005. The director is Niels Arden Oplev. By August 2009, it had been sold to 25 countries outside Scandinavia, most of them planning a release in 2010, and had been seen by more than 6 million people in the countries where it was already released.[3]



December, 2002. Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), publisher of the left-wing Swedish political magazine Millennium, loses a libel case involving allegations about billionaire financier Hans-Erik Wennerström (Stefan Sauk). He is sentenced to three months in prison, and ordered to pay hefty damages and to pay all court costs. Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a surveillance agent with Milton Security, has been contracted to deliver a comprehensive report on him on behalf of Dirch Frode (Ingvar Hirdwall), lawyer for the retired CEO of the Vanger Corporation, Henrik Vanger.

Blomkvist is then invited to a meeting with Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube), who hires him to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, who vanished on Children's Day in 1966. Henrik not only believes that Harriet was murdered, but that a member of the Vanger family is responsible. He shows him a collection of framed, single, pressed flowers that he had received from Harriet on every one of his birthdays since she was aged eight. Now 82, he has continued to receive them every birthday since 1966. He suspects that the sender is Harriet's murderer.

Lisbeth Salander's legal guardian suffers a stroke, and his replacement is a lawyer named Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson), who takes total control of her finances. She is mugged within the underground railway station. She asks him for her money to replace her broken laptop. Bjurman, a sexual sadist, forces Lisbeth to perform fellatio. On their next meeting, after being punched senseless, handcuffed to his bed, Lisbeth has to suffer anal rape. She has video recorded the incident, and when recovered from the two-hour long outrage, calls unexpectantly on him. She stuns him and executes her revenge. After torturing Bjurman, she takes control, allowing her to regain access to her own finances and to terminate his guardianship over her in a year's time. Failure to respect her demands will result in her releasing the evidence of the rape to the media. She tattoos Bjurman's abdomen while he is secured. The tattoo says " I am a sadist pig and a rapist". Later, she hacks into Blomkvist's computer to continue monitoring him.

Blomkvist moves into a cottage on the Vanger estate. Henrik tells him that his three brothers were all members of the Swedish Nazi Party. Harriet's father, Gottfried, drowned the year before his daughter's disappearance. Inside Harriet's Bible, Blomkvist finds a list of five names alongside what appear to be phone numbers. He visits retired Police Inspector Morell (Björn Granath) who informs him that his investigation team had been unable to decipher them. Using photographs taken during the Children's Day parade, Blomkvist believes that Harriet may have seen someone that day who may have killed her.

Upon discovering that his computer has been hacked, Blomkvist is directed by Dirch Frode to Lisbeth's apartment. He convinces her to help him with the case, and she joins him in the cottage.

At a meeting with the Vanger family, during which he is urged to abandon the case, Blomkvist notices Harriet's cousin Cecilia (Marika Lagercrantz) wearing Harriet's necklace. Cecilia asserts that she inherited it from her sister, Anita.

The following day, Inspector Morell reveals that a set of initials from Harriet's diary match the name of a woman who had worked for Gottfried Vanger. As the women all had Jewish names, Blomkvist and Lisbeth believe their murders were motivated by anti-Semitism. They suspect the reclusive Harald Vanger (Gösta Bredefeldt) to be the culprit, as the two other Vanger brothers had already died by the time she disappeared. Lisbeth searches through Vanger's business records to trace Harald to the crime scenes, while Blomkvist breaks into his house. There, Harald confronts Blomkvist, but Harriet's brother, Martin (Peter Haber), shows up and instead escorts Blomkvist to his home. When Blomkvist reveals what he has uncovered, Martin drugs him. In the meantime, Lisbeth discovers that Martin and his father were responsible for the murders, finding a picture of the two together. In it, Martin's blue sweater matches the one on the man that scared Harriet in the Children's Day parade photo. She returns to the cottage to find Blomkvist missing.

Blomkvist wakes to find himself bound in Martin's cellar. Martin confesses to decades of rape and murder, but denies killing Harriet. Lisbeth appears and attacks the killer with a golf club. While she frees Blomkvist, Martin flees in his car. Lisbeth gives chase on her motorcycle. Martin clips a truck and his car rolls down an embankment. When Lisbeth arrives at the wreck, he pleads for help, but she leaves him to die when the car catches fire. The incident reminds Lisbeth of a moment in her youth when she splashed gasoline in the face of a man sitting in a car, then igniting it and watching him burn.

Blomkvist later meets with Henrik and Morell to inform them that Martin did not kill Harriet. Returning to his cottage, he finds a note from Lisbeth, revealing Harriet's whereabouts. Blomkvist flies to Australia and discovers Harriet living under her dead cousin Anita's name. He returns her to Sweden to be reunited with Henrik. In his office, she reveals that she killed her father, who, along with Martin, had been sexually abusing her. Fearing for her life when she saw Martin at the Children's Day parade, she fled the estate with Anita's help.

In the epilogue, Blomkvist is serving his prison term. Lisbeth visits him and furnishes him with secret financial records that reveal Wennerström's complicity in drug trafficking and black market arms dealing, which is more incriminating than his previous evidence against him. Blomkvist publishes a new story on Wennerström, who subsequently kills himself, and launches Blomkvist and Millennium to national prominence. Lisbeth hacks into Wennerström's off-shore bank account, steals millions of Swedish kronor, and travels to the Cayman Islands.



Critical response

The film has been met with critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a normalized score of 86% based on 166 reviews, with an average score of 7.2/10 and declares it "Certified Fresh". The critical consensus is: "Its graphic violence and sprawling length will prove too much for some viewers to take, but Noomi Rapace's gripping performance makes The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo an unforgettable viewing experience."[4] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 76% based on reviews from 36 critics.[5]

Roger Ebert gave the film full four out of four star score. He describes it as a "compelling thriller" with a "heroine more fascinating than the story", and praises the "unwavering intensity" of Rapace's performance.[6]

Box office

The film grossed more than $10 million in North America in a limited release of 202 theaters.[2] The total gross worldwide is $104,285,103.[2]

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) response

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American anti-sexual violence organization, had a positive response to the film due to its authentic portrayal of violence against women and the repercussions of sexual violence, as well as the importance of victims seeking help. RAINN created a social action campaign around the film for the purpose of encouraging screenings and discussion of the film.[7]

Awards and nominations

Association Category Nominee Result
Amanda Award Best Foreign Feature Film Niels Arden Oplev Nominated
BAFTA Award[citation needed] Best Actress in a Leading Role Noomi Rapace Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg Nominated
Best Film Not in the English Language Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Noomi Rapace Nominated
Best Foreign Language Film Niels Arden Oplev Won
Empire Awards[citation needed] Best Thriller Won
Best Actress Noomi Rapace Won
European Film Awards Audience Award Niels Arden Oplev Nominated
Best Actress Noomi Rapace Nominated
Best Composer Jacob Groth Nominated
Guldbagge Awards Audience Award Niels Arden Oplev Won
Best Actress Noomi Rapace Won
Best Film Søren Stærmose Won
Best Cinematography Eric Kress Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Sven-Bertil Taube Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Award Best Foreign Language Film Won
Best Actress in a Leading Role Noomi Rapace Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Award Actress of the Year Noomi Rapace Nominated
New York Film Critics Online Award Breakthrough Performer Noomi Rapace Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Niels Arden Oplev Won
Satellite Award Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Noomi Rapace Won
Best Foreign Language Film Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Noomi Rapace Nominated
Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

Release and extended version

French premium pay television channel Canal+ aired the extended versions of the three movies as a miniseries (6×90 minutes) between March and June 2010, before the theatrical release of the second and third movies. The series premiere attracted over 1.1 million viewers. Considering the network is only available in 8 million French households, the series was a substantial hit.[8]

On March 22, 2010, Canal+ broadcast the first part in France. 18% (1.2 million) of the channel's subscribers in the country watched the program, which was the best opening of a foreign series at Canal+ that year.[citation needed]

American film version

An English-language film adaptation, written by Steven Zaillian, and directed by David Fincher, is in the works for release in 2011.[9] The film's release date has been confirmed for 21 December 2011.[10] George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt were interested in playing the central role of Mikael Blomkvist, but Daniel Craig was in more serious talks for the lead in June.[11] On July 26, 2010, it was confirmed that Craig would play the lead.[12] Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, praising Zaillian's screenplay, is allegedly to be cast as Martin Vanger, head of the Vanger corporation after meeting with David Fincher in Stockholm to discuss the production of the film.[13] Robin Wright entered talks to play Erika Berger.[14] After much speculation surrounding the casting of Lisbeth Salander, Rooney Mara landed the role in August 2010.[15][16] The soundtrack will be composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

See also


  1. ^ "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director queries US remake". 10 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 13 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Män som hatar kvinnor en internationell kassasuccé". The Swedish Film & TV Producers. 4 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  5. ^ Metacritic CBS
  6. ^ Roger Ebert. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (No MPAA rating)". Chicago Sun Times. 
  7. ^ "RAINN's Dragon Tattoo Program". Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Millennium trilogy". 25 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Piazza, Jo (10 April 2010). "Who Should Be 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'?". AOL Inc.. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Coming Dec. 2011". 21 July 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Leins, Jeff (6 June 2010). "Daniel Craig to Lead Fincher's 'Dragon Tattoo?'". News in Film. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Daniel Craig Closes Deal For 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'". Deadline. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Skarsgård erbjuden roll i nya Millennium | Film | Nöjesbladet | Aftonbladet". 5 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Robin Wright Joins Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Kaufman, Amy (16 August 2010). "Rooney Mara will be 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  16. ^ Kilday, Gregg; Kit, Borys (16 August 2010). "How Rooney Mara became 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 

External links

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