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It Would Have Been Perfect If Not For a Few Crippling Flaws
This was a top-notch film-noir set against the luscious backdrop of 1950 San Francisco, and it would have been a perfect work by Hitchcock if not for a few crippling flaws. I understand that this is a daring and controversial thing to say, but James Stewart was horribly miscast in this movie; the role of Scottie required no major talent and the movie would have been exactly the same with any other competent actor in his place.
Though the incomparable Jimmy Stewart is a fine actor, he was also too old to be Kim Novak's love interest. Because of the age difference between the two leads, and because his affection for her began from afar, his feelings for her are more like displaced emotions from his obsession with trying to save her rather than a romance. His obsession only escalates when he meets Judith and his attempt to transform her into an allusion is demeaning and unhealthy which makes him an unlikable character throughout the third act.
But because of the perfection in all other areas of acting, script, suspense, set design, and the riveting, unpredictable surprises, the film is still an immortal classic, not to be missed by anyone.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
A Horror Film and a Tragedy
You will be horrified by Glenn Close's realistically demented performance of an outwardly gorgeous woman with severe emotional instabilities. The most frightening aspect is that she isn't a monster; she isn't Michael Myers. You have to admit she's a real vulnerable person who has a damaged history with men which obliterated her trust in them, so her longing for their affection drives her into obsessive or destructive relationships, and for this you feel sorry for her. But paradoxically her inability to deal with her dysfunction drives her to lash out at the men who try to love her or care for her.
The premise of this film is of an all American family man living the dream who goes astray, falling victim to his lust for another woman and incidentally falling victim to her wrath when he leaves.
That's why I consider this both a horror film and a tragedy because of the ending. Alex didn't deserve the fate she got. She was mentally ill and therefore not responsible for her actions. She instead deserved institutionalization in a mental hospital where she could be cared for and treated until she could resume a normal life. I'm so sick of "villains" in movies, who are actually just victims of their own mental illness, getting killed in the end when it isn't fair or really necessary.
Fincher Blows the Swedish Version out of the Water!
Fincher's version of the international bestseller blows the original Swedish film out of the water, and rarely, rarely does an American remake of a foreign film surpass or even equate to the original. For example, I saw French horror film "Diabolique" and foreign Sci-Fi "Solaris"; then watched the American remakes and all throughout I was thinking, "Shame on you Hollywood!" To my splendid surprise that wasn't the case with Dragon Tattoo. Every single aspect of the English version is phenomenally superior to its predecessor: directing, acting, editing, cinematography, production, script, music score, plot construction, suspense, terror, and especially Rooney Mara's Lizbeth Salander.
The Swedish version is 152 minutes; with the English version you get twice the amount of story and character development in only 158 minutes. I cannot for the life of me understand why every Swedish film maker thinks they're the first one to discover the art of slowly paced story-telling, or why they think they know how to do it right when a great deal of the time they don't.
Fincher has painted a dark, evil, haunting picture that makes his previous thrillers such as "Panic Room", Se7en" and "Zodiac" look like tame, PG-13, M. Night Shyamalan films. Once again, Fincher has raised the bar on shocking, graphic, riveting film making and once again, the Academy deprived an underrated masterpiece of its rightful Oscars such as Best Actress Rooney Mara, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Script and Best Music Score.