This week's movie releases: January 13
Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets a remake, while Spanish film Las Olas peers into the darkness
The news Hollywood has remade yet another foreign box-office hit would normally be greeted by a roll of the eyes - just what is it that's so difficult about subtitles? But when it's The Social Network's David Fincher, Schindler's List screenwriter Steven Zaillian and 007 himself Daniel Craig adapting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, part one of Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson's Sweden-filmed Millennium phenomenon, you're guaranteed a modicum of attention. But for all its big names and slick, steely style - check out the deranged Bond-esque credit sequence - it's the relatively unknown Rooney Mara who walks away with the movie as cockatoo-haired hacker Lisbeth Salander. Hyper-intelligent and sociopathic, she's a sensational invention, drafted in by journalist Craig after he's employed by aging magnate Christopher Plummer to investigate the disappearance of his niece 40 years before. The odd couple's unlikely chemistry as they unearth family secrets and a serial killer who's been striking for decades is key to the success of a thriller as expertly assembled as you'd expect. It perhaps never digs deep enough into the sociopolitical darkness it invokes to be a masterpiece, but this is nevertheless superior entertainment.
Also worth mentioning this week is a Spanish film properly peering into the darkness. Las olas (The waves), the feature debut of Alberto Morais, has turned heads at festivals and stars Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa as an old man who sets out on a journey he's been thinking about for 60 years, from Valencia to the French town of Argelès-sur-Mer, formerly the end of the road for thousands of Civil War refugees.