Controversy over Girl with the Dragon Tattoo review
On December 21, David Fincher’s long-awaited and much-anticipated Hollywood adaptation of the bestselling Stieg Larsson novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” will arrive in theaters. How do I know it is much-anticipated? Because a well-dressed woman in her early fifties stopped me today while I was shopping for a lighting fixture to tell me in a hushed tone that I look just like Lisbeth Salander. This made me realize just how big this film will be. Not to mention that I must have done a particularly good job of trimming my bangs.
This week, the film received a lot of pre-opening buzz because of a dispute between the film producers and a film critic. According to The Guardian, “Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin has banned David Denby, a critic from the New Yorker magazine, from all future press screenings of his films [because] Denby broke a review embargo on David Fincher’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Denby apparently had agreed to table his review until next week, but then broke this agreement and published it a week early. The review, which is favorable, can be read at this link.
The dispute has received a lot of attention in the mainstream media.
I don’t quite get the fuss. If you don’t want people writing about your film then, as David Fincher (the film’s director) points out, don’t make the film available to critics for early screenings. Or, if you make the film available for early screenings and are truly concerned about secrecy, make reviewers sign non-disclosure agreements.
In any event, none of this should matter. People don’t read reviews anymore. Metacritic.com and sometimes Rottentomatoes.com are my go to. Aggregator sites, bloggers, and social media has greatly diminished the value of individual reviewers in traditional media.
The skeptic in me can’t help but think this entire dispute is some type of brilliant publicity stunt.
The review is now the most popular story for the New Yorker. And because of the dispute, the first review for the film, which happens to be positive, is now front and center of dozens of blogs and news articles. I, for one, am now anxiously awaiting the release date.