Fincher vs. Spielberg: Who Will Win the Christmas Box-Office Battle?

Grab some popcorn! NewsFeed's Glen Levy brings you the movies you should check out (or avoid) this holiday season.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Tagline: Evil Shall With Evil Be Expelled

Do we need to explain the first book in the late Swede Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster Millennium trilogy? Who hasn’t read it already? It’s next to impossible to ride the subway without seeing someone clutching the likes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo close to their chest. And the Swedish movie adaptations that came out a couple of years ago were also well received. For some, that would have been enough, but how was Hollywood ever going to resist making its own version?

And to be fair to Sony Pictures, they’ve taken the venture pretty seriously, hiring one of the most imaginative mainstream directors on the market in David Fincher. The parts of the main protagonists, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, went to Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, who supposedly beat out every living actress on the planet for the plum role.

In case you do need a reminder, disgraced journalist Blomkvist is hired to look into the secrets of a family with a Nazi past and investigate a homicide. Salander is not just the researcher helping him, but also a hacker who is one of the more unlikely heroines of our days. Expectations are sky high, and thumbs seem to be up. “He’s not just a great director — he’s an artist with the eyes of a voyeur, and he has made The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo into an electrifying movie by turning the audience into addicts of the forbidden,” writes Entertainment Weekly. “So it’s Mara’s movie for the taking, and she snatches it up in dramatic fashion,” concludes The Hollywood Reporter. And “fans of the book and film should rest easy at how this Dragon Tattoo is still inherently a Swedish tale – set and partly shot in Sweden — and Fincher doesn’t flinch from the sexual violence at their core,” argued Time Out London.

A respectable box office return is all but guaranteed, but can Fincher break his bad luck with the Academy and finally snag Best Director at the Oscars? He’s had so little joy thus far that he may need to employ Salander’s hacking acumen to tilt the vote in his favor.

MORE: 10 Questions for David Fincher

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