David Fincher has demonstrated his penchant for transcending conventions, as evidenced by his filmography - "Fight Club" (1999), "Panic Room" (2002), "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), "The Social Network" (2010) and his unoffical policier trilogy, "Se7en" (1995), "Zodiac" (2006) and now an English-language remake of the Swedish sensation, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
An adaptation of the inaugural book in Stieg Larsson’s best-selling “Millennium” trilogy and, less directly, Niels Arden Oplev's first 2009 film version of the book, Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" looms as a shrewd commingling of up-to-minute, kick-ass grrrl outlawism and the core idea from Dashiell Hammett's "Thin Man" creation.
Despite the new paint job with its modern look, Fincher's hugely atmospheric film is driven by two characters who hark back to Nick and Nora Charles in their taste for righteousness and antiauthoritarianism.
In this case, it's disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (played by a soulful Daniel Craig) and punk computer hacker Lisbeth (Rooney Mara, most mesmerizing), an abused young woman whose need for vengeance dovetils with Mikael's assignment to track down "a killer of women."
Withdrawn, never making eye contact and telegraphing a hurt that is palatable, Rooney Mara is a revelation in the sheer solipsism of her performance. Her Lisbeth personifies a term that has been applied to someone else on our cultural scene - she is very much The Other.
Which means she is singular.