I have no doubt that, if compelled under pain of death and force of arms to watch Meryl Streep play Maggie – or, somewhat more willingly, to see Michelle Williams portray the pitch-perfect Marilyn – that I would still, if given a vote in the Oscar race, cast mine for Rooney Mara in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

She sculpts the figure of Lisbeth Salander, so lushly hard and emotively deadpan, with the deceptive creaminess of a marble statue, a sort of super-hero in a universe of gritty realism, whose feats are pulled off without recourse to magic or science fiction, unless of course you count her hacking skills. She is just one of a cast profound in talent and reputation, with Daniel Craig in the lead and Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, and Joely Richardson in supporting roles, as well as the under-recognized Embeth Davidtz, whose appearance is buried in a flashback.

I thought going into the theater that there had been no good reason to make this film, given that Noomi Rapace gave us what seemed like the definitive Lisbeth Salander just a couple of years ago – and in the appropriate language. But Mara has robbed me of that conviction, and I am eager to the point of unseemliness for the next installment.

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