The (Broken) Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (aka Män Som Älskar Brutet Flickor)

"The World's Coolest Heroine"

By Jonathan J. Morris,

Released about two months ago into the crowded glut of holiday awards season, David Fincher’s movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has clearly already had its moment in the Scandinavian sun. Arriving with a heavy dose of critical praise and entering theaters with a snarl of assumed feminist defiance, the film left them with surprising rapidity and an almost audible whimper over how little money it made, at least compared to somewhat over-elevated expectations. Based on the first of the late Stieg Larssen’s bestselling “Millennium” novels, which, like many bestsellers, falls firmly into the category of “overrated,” the film will nonetheless likely prove to be the first of a cinematic trilogy, in spite of its modest success.  Of course, though it hardly needs to be restated, this was not the first movie version of Larssen’s novel, nor even the first in recent memory. The 2009 Swedish language adaptation, by the standards of foreign films, had a fairly significant cultural footprint in the United States and earned about $100 million dollars worldwide.  As films go, the Swedish version wasn’t bad for a straight-forward mystery movie; elevated, if that’s the right word for it, by its unflinching portrayal of explicit sexual violence and the characterization of its singular heroine, Lisbeth Salander.  Indeed, the most memorable aspect of that film was Salander, dynamically portrayed by Noomi Rapace, who deservedly has been parlaying that part into international stardom.  No doubt Rooney Mara, who plays the character in the American version, has herself already been doing the same.

The Two Lisbeths: The American Rooney Mara and the Swedish Noomi Rapace.

Continue reading “The (Broken) Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (aka Män Som Älskar Brutet Flickor)”

The Academy Award Nominees for Best Picture of 2011 – The Antiscribe Appraisals


Of course, herein lies precisely what the Interwebs didn’t need: another write up of the Academy Award contenders for Best Picture of 2011. To which I say: fair point.  This, however, was one of the first years in a while that I can actually say that I saw ALL of the Best Picture nominees (which I think is pretty impressive…since there’s now NINE of them), and I did so expressly for the purpose of being able to discuss them here on the site.  Unfortunately, given the fact my schedule and personal commitments haven’t allowed me to do the full reviews I’m usually partial to doing, penning this overview is essentially my way of doing the next best thing.

Two caveats:  First, this is not me handicapping the Oscars. I generally only watch them out of obligation, and after last year’s Hathaway/Franco debacle I have absolutely no desire to watch them this year (and those personal commitments will forbid it, anyway). I will comment on whether they deserved consideration, and I’ll make my pick of what I think should win and what I think will (since they’re not the same), but that’s pretty much it. Secondly, I myself won’t be doing any particular kind of ranking of this list (it’s presented in alphabetical order, as is standard) or otherwise doing my personal ranking of my favorite films of the year or anything like that. I’m personally not one for that kind of thing, and I generally feel such lists are defined almost as much by genre biases and false perceptions of import (the always ludicrous “movies” vs. “films” comparison) as anything else. In the end, this is basically my way of doing a bunch of my “Antiscribe Appraisals” in short form since I don’t really have the chance to do them in long (though the one for The Artist: pretty long).  Of course, in some cases, I already did full reviews of those films, and will link to them where appropriate.

And with that, the nominees are… Continue reading “The Academy Award Nominees for Best Picture of 2011 – The Antiscribe Appraisals”

The Antiscribe on Abortion

(Hi! Sorry for the unintended hiatus…no drama involved this time, I’ve just been annoyingly swamped with stuff, leaving me little to no time for personal writing.  I will be back with two movie-related blogs this week, but in the interim, I’m posting this, which I wrote the other day after the entire Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle caused this unending debate to rear its ugly, polarizing head one more time.)

Here’s my thing:  I hate abortion.  I hate that it exists.  I think it’s cruel, I think it’s sad, and that every potential life ended before it begins represents another example of our global society having failed just a little bit more.

With that said, I am, and always shall be, pro-choice, because a woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants or can handle the responsibility for bringing life into the world.  That she had sex, for whatever reason, should not cause her to bear the burdens and experience the joys of childbirth and/or motherhood if she doesn’t choose to. This is especially true since she bears it, physically and perhaps even emotionally, in far greater proportion than the father of that child.  Sexual responsibility should never be discouraged, but no woman should face a life-altering experience for showing questionable sexual judgment; that’s simply not commiserate with being a member of a fair, balanced, and just society.

What personally gets to me is that on many areas of the anti-abortion side we have very hardcore conservatives fighting against the kind of social welfare plans that are at least trying to solve many of the problems that in some cases cause abortions, because they find it easier and more direct to outlaw them.  I’d rather see us all strive for a world where abortions aren’t necessary, as hard as it would be, rather than a world where abortions are outlawed but with all the problems that still cause them prevalent and everlasting.

And yet, it also annoys me when people who are ostensibly on my side argue and debate about what qualifies as a life and what doesn’t.  If it is conceived, whether it be by technicality a life or not, it will forever after have held that potential to be a life.  Trying to argue otherwise dehumanizes the argument, the lost potential, and arguer him- or herself; it changes the nature of the discussion, as well as causes the other side to assume that we don’t care.  Too many of us do, and too well.  Everything else, in a world where once we’re born we’re all essentially reduced to statistics, is little more than a pointless exercise in biological semantics.

I am pro choice, who if it were my choice to make would always choose life, but I’ll never be pro-life, because that would take from me the right to choose life at all.

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