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There are few films left this year that I anticipate as highly as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The project has an innumerable amount of things working for it, from David Fincher being at the helm to Trent Reznor handling the score, but there wasn’t a single jaw that wasn’t on the floor when the film’s first trailer premiered back in May. Sadly we haven’t seen anything from the movie in the four months since except for a few random stills and posters, but tonight that changed.
On Monday I received an email with the subject line “GDT” inviting me to a Wednesday night screening of Straw Dogs and saying that “something unusual and interesting is playing before [it.]” That screening was tonight and what I got to watch was an eight minute trailer for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which I have fully described below.
Before I get into the description, I should mention a few things. Firstly, the entire trailer was scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the same artists who won the Best Original Score Oscar for their work on Fincher’s The Social Network. While this film has a much different sound, the music is just as mind-meltingly incredible. Next, all of the characters do speak with Swedish accents, but from the sample it sounds like some have much stronger accents than others (Rooney Mara’s, for example, is much more pronounced than Daniel Craig’s). Next, what’s so amazing about this trailer is that it tells you a great deal about the plot, but has no spoilers. So don’t be nervous about that as you read my description. Lastly, I should just say this: this trailer was absolutely astounding. Without further ado, here’s my description of what I saw tonight:
The trailer begins with Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) in a dimly lit room speaking with someone on the phone. Henrik is talking about a package he received, mentioning that they come every year at the same time, with no note. The camera pans and we see the package that he has received: a pressed flower on a white background in a glass case.
The scene cuts and we next see a meeting between Dragan Armansky (Goran Visnjic), the CEO/COO of Milton Security, talking with Dirch Frode (Steven Berkoff), Henrik’s lawyer and assistant. They are discussing Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), one of Dragan’s employees, whom Dirch has had investigate a recently disgraced journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig). The scene is intercut with shots of Lisbeth arriving to the office on her motorcycle and walking through the halls, as Dragan talks about how strange she is.
Next we see Mikael in a car driving up to the Vanger Estate and we hear about the murder of Henrik’s niece, Harriet (Moa Garpendal), and how Henrik believes that someone in his family is responsible. In the same room that the trailer opened with, Henrik talks about how Harriet used to give him a pressed flower every year on his birthday. This tradition has continued all forty years since her death, and Henrik believes that the killer is trying to drive him insane. Henrik turns on a light and we see the far wall, which is covered from top to bottom with pressed flowers.
The trailer then goes back to the year when Harriet was murdered. While a young Henrik (Julian Sands) sits in a parlor with some other men, Harriet comes in and asks to speak with him. Henrik tells her to wait a few minutes. Henrik then recounts a huge pile up on the only bridge out of town that got everyone in a frenzy. Later, after everything has been resolved and the family sits at dinner, Henrik notices that Harriet isn’t at the table. A few days pass and Harriet is declared dead.
It then cuts to Lisbeth riding on the subway. As she gets off the train and onto the platform, a man violently shoves her as he is trying to get past. Pissed off to no end, she races up an escalator and shoves the man back. We then see Lisbeth arrive at the home of her legal guardian, an awful man named Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen). As Nils sits across from her at a desk, Lisbeth requests money for a new computer and proclaims that she should be able to have control of her own finances. Nils then walks around his desk, telling Lisbeth that he thinks she and he can be good friends and that they need to be able to help each other. He holds out his hand and Lisbeth apprehensively gives him hers. He then takes Lisbeth’s hand and leads her to his crotch.
In the next scene, Mikael is doing some investigation when he realizes a connection with the Bible. Over the soundtrack we begin to hear what sounds like violent bible verses. Mikael tells Henrik that he may be on to something. When Henrik asks Mikael what he’s found, Mikael informs Henrik that he’s had too much trouble recently reporting inaccurate facts to explain everything immediately, alluding to the libel case that he recently lost.
After a quick montage, the trailer continues with the first meeting between Mikael and Lisbeth. Mikael tells her that he knows she investigated him, and decides to hire her to work with him on the Vanger case. He lays out the evidence he has on a table and after a few moments, Lisbeth stands up and starts to walk out of the room. When Mikael tells her that they need to go over everything, Lisbeth says that she got it all and that she’s going to work, revealing that she has a photographic memory.
In the last full scene before a closing montage, Lisbeth talks with a police officer about seeing some crime scene photographs. When he asks if she’s eaten, Lisbeth defensively explains that she simply has a high metabolism, which explains her skinny frame. Correcting her, the officer says he hopes she hasn’t had lunch, because she may lose it when looking at the pictures.
Before you ask, no, I don’t know if this trailer will be released online, but some of you may be able to see the footage for yourself. If you follow Mouth Taped Shut (the name of the film’s viral marketing) on Twitter, you’ve seen that they’ve been inviting people to screenings of the footage around the country. The feed has been offering passes these past two days, but I’m not sure if anymore are available. For those that can’t go, hopefully a new standard trailer will be available soon so that you can see at least some of the footage that was premiered tonight.
For more about David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, including news, images, trailers and more, be sure to head over to our Blend Film Database.