There's already a debate about how this trailer for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" got online: Was it leaked from a European theater or stealthily put there by Sony? Whatever your conspiracy theory, the source is perhaps less important than the content of this so-called "feel-bad" Christmas movie, all of which comes at us fast, gritty and stylish. (We link to the trailer here instead of embedding it because it's been red-banded, apparently owing to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it nudity shot; please use your discretion in clicking through.)
Shrewdly assuming knowledge of the Stieg Larsson literary series, the spot for the David Fincher movie eschews traditional setup and exposition in favor of quick cuts and a driving Led Zeppelin cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O. This one's for the devotees.
Still, if you pause the spot or watch it multiple times, you'll see many allusions to the mystery that Daniel Craig's Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander are trying to solve in the Swedish snow. It's a smart approach: The story is there for those who want it, but it's not laid out in a way that could subject it to scrutiny.
The trailer's cumulative effect is to make the movie feel both polished and raw, a sophisticated product that moves miles beyond the made-for-TV feel of the Swedish-language original. If the book and the casting already have fans excited for the first installment this December, this one will make them rapturous.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Rooney Mara on the set of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Credit: Vanity Fair