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'Millennium' film opens to rousing US reviews

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 19 Mar 2010, 14:23

Published: 19 Mar 2010 14:23 GMT+01:00

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"If you ignore the film because it's in Swedish with English subtitles, you probably deserve the remake Hollywood will surely screw up," wrote Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers in giving the film a 3½ of 4 possible stars.

The San Diego Union Tribune similarly urges cinema audiences to look beyond the lack of household names among the cast, its 150 minute duration, and the inconvenience of the film being in an unfamiliar Nordic tongue.

The newspaper goes as far as to suggest that Noomi Rapace should recreate her interpretation of the Lisbeth Salander character even in the Hollywood remake.

"Sure, Hollywood could translate this film into something worth watching, but it’s doubtful they would make such an edgy — and risky — casting choice for the crucial role of Lisbeth (as Noomi Rapace)," the newspaper writes.

The Chicago Sun Times star critic Roger Ebert is of the same opinion.

"I can't think of an American actress who could play Lisbeth... Someone able to play hard as nails and emotionally unavailable. Make her a Swede, and simply cast Noomi Rapace."

The film is based on the first of the posthumously published Stieg Larsson trilogy of books which also includes The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest. All three books have been made into Swedish language films, directed by the Dane Niels Arden Oplev and the Swede Daniel Alfredson.

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The films are scheduled for a Hollywood remake with Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) drafted in as screenwriter. Kristen Stewart and Ellen Page have been named as possible alternatives to play Lisbeth Salander.

Noomi Rapace received Best Actress honours at the Swedish film awards in January for her portrayal of the mesmerizing hacker-heroine, who it seems is now having the same effect on a willing US public.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:50 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Yay!!! Where is it showing? Probably no where near me. So my real question should be when will it be on dvd? I don't mind subtitles. I hate to listen to a voiced-over movie. I have read the 1st 2 books and loved them. I'm impatiently waiting for the 3rd to become available in the USA. I also think Hollywood will screw it up, so I want the Swedish movie!
17:31 March 19, 2010 by americanska
good stuff - funny how they say only a swede could be so emotionally unavailable....harsh
17:47 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Darn it! It is being shown in California, which is a 2-day drive from here. DVD please get here.
17:51 March 19, 2010 by babychuma
Awesome, loved both the books and the movies. Noomi Rapace speaks english fine I've heard her. Why couldn't she be Lisbeth in the American version if they make it? Also the Girl Who Played with fire was tough to translate to film because it was pretty complex and I didn't like some of the changes in the Swedish version, I watched it with a person who didn't read the books and ended up having to explain alot of the twists.

Don't be too afraid, I know hollywood is capable of ruining this story but the directors I've heard mentioned (Quentin Tarrentino, Martin Scorcesse) are top notch and have experience bringing print to film.

Sissygirl, if you want the third book now order it from Amozon Uk, it worked for me, I live in Chicago Illinois.
18:06 March 19, 2010 by Marathongirl
Going to see the film next Thursday. It is being shown in my neighborhood. Can't wait!
18:20 March 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
I am not in favor of a remake. Especially the first film was one of the best in the trilogy. So, there is no need for a remake.
18:56 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Thanks babychuma! I'm on it.
19:16 March 19, 2010 by babychuma
Oh you bet, there's neat little linguistic and spelling differences that are fun in the UK versions. Also the movies are available as torrents too, if you can stand watching them on a tv. I've seen them but may still go to see them on the big screen.
19:28 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Where did you find the movies? I don't live in the middle of art and culture, so this is showing no where in my tri-state area. The 1st 2 books contained many Swedish words/references. I'm a nerd so if I don't understand, I will research.
19:32 March 19, 2010 by pintoflex
The movies are garbage
19:58 March 19, 2010 by babychuma
I actually meant Brit references like "stroller" to us is "pram" to them, the only thing Swedish I didn't get was Aquavit, I bought some, it tastes like Nyquil gone bad. I dare ya! Internet, google them they can be downloaded.
20:04 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
pintoflex: Aw dude, don't be like that. What's so bad? It may still be a while before I can see them.
20:33 March 19, 2010 by Craptastical
I saw all three and enjoyed them all. No, I haven't read the books.

I'm actually afraid of what Hollywood will do. They're already great films, there's not much they could do to improve them.
20:43 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Hollywood will use an English script, but the actors will use stupid fake Swedish accents. And I wonder how many Americans these days would know who is Pippi Longstocking and Kalle Blomkvist. Even worse, they will get someone like Tori Spelling to portray Lisbeth Salander.
21:15 March 19, 2010 by peropaco
The movie was really poor. those of you asking for the DVD are probably over 39 years old cause it seems you have never heard of downloading a movie before.
21:41 March 19, 2010 by babychuma
Sissygirl, it could be worse than that, one pitch I heard was for it to be set it in Canada and have Wil Smith as Mikel. Brad Pitt is also reportedly interested in the role, with Tarrentino directing. I can't think of an actress who could play Lisbeth, 10yr ago I would have said Winona Ryder but she may be a little long in the tooth now, I picture Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth when I think about it, she was the bright spot in the movies.
00:02 March 20, 2010 by BrammLinus
I hope the remake will fail.
00:36 March 20, 2010 by Luke35711
"I can't think of an American actress who could play Lisbeth... Someone able to play hard as nails and emotionally unavailable. Make her a Swede, and simply cast Noomi Rapace."

This surely is the quote of the year,

most likely quote of the the decade,

and possibly even the quote of the Millennium!
02:04 March 20, 2010 by repat_xpat
The legendary Stieg Larsson: His books are fascinating, I'm sure there is a large market for them and their movies in America. Stieg's repeated themes that men are generally stupid and predominantly evil (especially fathers), that women are victims, and that the immoral is moral are themes that are also loved by many Americans. Stieg's fixation on such themes is also common in American books and movies. What is not common is the fixation that the Swedish population has with these themes. In America, books that dwell on such themes are popular, but love for such decadence is not universal. What does such a national fixation say about the character of the people where such a significant majority identifies with the core lessons of the book (men are perverted idiots and immorality is moral)?

The quote about only a Swedish woman could play such a role is also interesting. So many people seem to understand the depth of that quote.
08:30 March 20, 2010 by sebseb
Americans suck! Why do they need an Hollywood version?

Too difficult to watch and read the subtitles at the same time just like you can't walk and chew a gum?
10:29 March 20, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
I am afraid if a remake took place, it would ruin the effects of the originals and I am not sure that it will surpass the books too.

If there is a remake, let Noomi Rapace be Lisbeth Salander. I am pretty sure she will do another marvellous job just as in the first film.


I don't think the movies are that terrible. For the first film, Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist act very passionate, thus the film is passionate. But for the sequel, especially second movie, there are great flaws. Nevertheless, they recover the sequel very well in the last movie.

For the dubbing and subtitle thing, Americans must learn to read a subtitle and must respect the dubbing other than English. A great example is Valkyrie. The plot and the cast are pretty powerful, yet, I cannot say it's really affecting due to the english dubbing. So, the book itself reflects the culture and the past of Sweden, so let it stay in Swedish.

12:41 March 20, 2010 by peropaco
The US is actually the biggest market for foreign films. Most of the dreaded and most depressing movies by Bergman got their success in the US.

@Jazzllllove, you are probably confusing the US with France, Italy, Spain. I cant remember seeing a foreign movie in the US which was dubbed. Now, trying finding an English language movie in France or any of the other countries I mentioned and you will have to walk loads. Remember the movie the green mile? John Coffee? He had a double bassed Barry White voice? welll, the French dubbed it and he sounded like a castrated rooaster. try youtubing la ligne vert and listen to his voice
13:35 March 20, 2010 by geecee61
I read all three books and they were brilliant,I have seen all three movies and they lacked what the books had but were still good,I live in Stockholm so whilst reading the books it was easy to imagine the scenery and locations...I imagine for people living outside of Sweden the films(even after reading the books)brings what you read more to life,seeing the areas in Stockholm/Göteborg ect the stories are based around...well worth watching.
02:28 March 21, 2010 by Luke35711

You make some interesting points. Strindberg and Munch had different ideas, but Ibsen would probably agree..

Scientific evidence is mixed. Recent high profile paper in Nature, for example, refutes the preconception that testosterone only causes aggressive or egoistic behavior in humans: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/12/09/2766165.htm

I say, there is room for improvement in both sexes. There is surely need for more study and respectful dialog, less simplistic ideology.
11:26 March 23, 2010 by gaborien
I'm against an American remake because Hollywood will most likely alter the plot and give a predictable twist to it, ruining the whole movie!

Why can't Americans be more openminded to foreign movies?
23:48 March 23, 2010 by johnron
i'm afraid that as much as this I wanted to like this film because it's swedish the reality is that it is much over-hyped and has too many things that are just plain lame such as the car chase, the ridiculous way that they sussed out who the killer was, and the far too neat and tidy way it all got wrapped up in the end.

not any better than a tv movie (notwithstanding all the hard to watch bits)
14:22 March 26, 2010 by Love-refugee
Has the English sub-titled version been released in Sweden (cinema or DVD)?
17:49 March 26, 2010 by Marathongirl
Saw the film last night and loved it! Thought Lisbeth and Mikael were played brillantly. This film has to be in Swedish, with Swedish actors, and shot in Sweden. An American remake would definitely ruin it.
03:20 March 27, 2010 by MiM-zan
The second and third films were not supposed to be films at the beginning, but a TV series. Naturally they had to cut a lot out due to the time constraints of a movie. The series is airing in Sweden right now and are supposed to have a lot more in it from the books than the movies did.

/ mia, gothenburg, sweden
16:24 March 28, 2010 by Miss Kitten
I'm pretty sure Ebert's comment was meant to communicate that he can't imagine an American actress who could pay the hard as nails and emotionally distant character Lisbeth Salander. I don't he meant to imply that all Swedes are hard as nails and emotionally distant, even though his quote can be read that way.
14:51 March 29, 2010 by A-K87
Noomi's already said that she isn't interested in playing Lisbeth again in an interview with ITN in the UK.

I don't see the need for another adaptation but there are enough ignorant American's who are willing to snub The Swedish for an English version. But who knows what Zaillian is going to do with the source material. The master scribe might take a completely different route.

Rapace suggests Evan Rachel Wood but I hope Ellen Page gets the role. Her roles in The Tracey Fragments and Hard Candy are the perfect balance for the Salander character. She also fits the physical description for Salander better than anyone else (Rapace included.) Noomi pulled off one of the female performances of the last decade and I think even the most talented of actresses with Fincher's direction won't come close. Looking at the Academy's best actresses of the 2000s (The Winslets, Swanks, Therons and The Mirrens) I can honestly say that Noomi's turn as Lisbeth Salander is superior to all.
02:32 April 29, 2010 by vikingolf
Hollywood will definitely screw up the film. To try to salvage the movie, Noomi IS Salander. Let her play the role. I've read all 3 books and have seen the first film. My Swedish is reasonable and don't need the sub-titles. Can anyone out there help me get the other two? I'm only sorry Larsson is gone. Salander could have been an industry...
17:59 March 19, 2011 by nerinbush
Somewhat interesting concepts of time travel. Kris Kristofferson is a bit flat, but Cheryl Ladd brings spark to the scenes.

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