Is Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Too Extreme for Oscars?
Over at Entertainment Weekly, David Fincher plays coy joking about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Oscar chances. [Some spoilers follow, though they'll come as no surprise to those familiar with Stieg Larsson's book or Niels Arden Oplev's 2009 film adaptation.] How likely is is that the Academy will be so turned off by the extremes seen in Fincher's film that they'd pass it over come nomination day?
Mild spoilers follow; excerpt from EW:
"There's too much anal rape in this movie" to get nominated, he says, half-jokingly. "I think we're very safe."
Over at Awards Daily, Sasha Stone concurs, less jokingly, zeroing in on the idea that films with anal sex may get nominated, but they have a harder time winning. "He's right, you can't win. The internet is a Greek chorus that monitors and judges ALL behavior."
True; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is very, very rapey. It's the rapiest film to come along in a long time, especially given the high profile and awards season positioning that Fincher's production and recent Oscar cred carries with it. But those violations are also unavoidable and key to the plot and larger themes, and hopefully Fincher's stayed true to the extreme, semi-unbearable nature of said events in Larsson's tale; without having to endure (and avenge) them, a key character wouldn't be complete.
As one counterpoint to the rule, Brokeback Mountain won Oscars including Best Director and Screenplay, though Best Picture that year went to Crash. Dragon Tattoo, however, is far more difficult material then most. It's not your average feelgood mainstream tale, by a long shot, and one driven by the ugliness of men. (Its original title, translated from Swedish: Men Who Hate Women.) So maybe Fincher's right. And judging from his cautiously pessimistic comment, maybe he'd just playing the Oscar game safe, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by Academy voters.