Film School: ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ vs ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’

Side-by-side comparison: a unique opportunity to learn about choices in film-making.

It’s rare that we get the opportunity to compare and contrast two film versions of the same story, which were made within two years of eachother – and the lessons we get to learn from that comparison are pretty unique.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009, directed by Niels Arden Oplev) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011, directed by David Fincher), both based on Stieg Larsson‘s 2005 novel, have been the subject of several analyses.

SceneCraft offers a side-by-side comparison, arguing that Fincher’s version is superior:

Lessons from the Screenplay traces Fincher’s directorial choices back to screenwriter Steven Zaillian’s adaption, and contrasts it not with Oplev’s version, but with the conventions of Marvel movies:

Further Viewing

Nerdwriter locates the source of the haunting, subliminal effect of Fincher’s visual style in the way his camera locks onto even the smallest movements of his protagonist – a process which requires several takes to nail (more detail on that over here):

Here’s Fincher discussing his reasoning for shooting so many takes, and his own directing process more generally:

Bonus: this featurette on the casting of Rooney Mara as Salander also includes some behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting of the film: