About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Personal Reactions to the Swedish and American movies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I watched both the Swedish (sub-titled) and American film versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy both movies. It has been infrequent that I enjoyed the movie version of a book.

It is impossible not to compare the lead characters from the two versions.

With regard to the Mikael Blomkvists I liked Michael Nyqvist in the Swedish version more than Daniel Craig in the American movie.

It was more that Nyqvist fitted my image of Blomkvist more than Craig. My mental picture of Blomkvist was not of a man with a sculpted body. I saw him as a good looking guy but not the hunk that is Craig. Of the journalists I have met over the few years few, very few, had a body like Craig.

My biggest surprise was Craig as an actor. Having only seen him in Bond movies before this movie I had no idea he was a good actor.

Of the Salanders I liked Rooney Mara from the American version more than Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version.

It is harder for me to say why I preferred Mara. Perhaps it was I saw in her the touch of vulnerability that underlies the hard edges of Salander.

In watching each movie I was struck by how visual images are sometimes more powerful than a written description.

When Salander is brutalized by her new guardian I was almost unable to watch the scene.

Later in the movie when Blomkvist is studying photos a vital clue appears far more vividly from the visual images.

The Swedish movie had a budget of about $10 million and grossed $104 million in world release.

The American movie cost almost $100 million and had a $232 million international gross.

While Swedish films were made of the whole trilogy only the first has been filmed in America. There have been many stories about sequels but none have been made.

In the past week there have been stories that Hollywood is looking at a sequel involving the latest book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which is not part of the trilogy. They would skip the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy. As well it is reported that Crain and Mara would not be the stars. Ah, trust Hollywood to screw up an exceptional series of thrillers.


  1. You make some interesting comparisons here, Bill. Like you, I pictured Blomqvist as not looking sculpted in the way that Craig is. Still, I think Craig really did handle his role very well. And Rooney Mara handled her role well, too. I wonder whether the other two books in the original trilogy will be filmed in the US. I'm not optimistic, but who knows...

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I read that while the American version made money the producers had expected more revenue. Still I think if they had made the trilogy there would have been a generation of income just as the books remain popular.

  3. I agree with you that both movies were decent adaptations (though I'd probably swap my favourites of the two leads - though they were all good).. I just don't really see why the American one was made. Aside from the sadly obvious "Americans won't read subtitles" premise. It added nothing other than the English language to what the Swedish one had already provided. But that's Hollywood I guess.

    1. Bernadette: Thanks for the comment. On why there was an American version I expect it is the usual reason a movie is made in Hollywood. The producers expected a big payday from a best seller.

  4. We watched all three of the Swedish adaptations of the trilogy. And liked all three. Also saw the US version of the first book and it was fine too. I liked both sets of actors but prefer the Swedish version. It is unusual for movie adaptations of books to be so good, as you noted.

  5. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I actually think each of the books would have been done best as a mini-series to do justice to the complexity of the plots.

  6. I only saw the Swedish version, but of all three movies. I likes both main actors, but I do want to see the U.S. version.

    I agree about why U.S. producers and directors made the film -- to garner profits. But I wonder what is the goal when clearly the film did well.

    Have been watching the Irene Huss series based on Helen Thurston's books.

  7. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I would be interested in your thoughts on the American version. I hope you get a chance to see it.