Is Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Too Extreme for Oscars?

dragon_tattoo_poster_sm630.jpgOver 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.

[Awards Daily, EW]


  • sosgemini says:

    Why are you even giving Sasha "nutjob" Stone credibility by citing her article? I loathe the fact that there are people who make a living making up Oscar statistics to justify their payroll--it's stupid. Especially when time and time again they act as experts, come up empty handed and yet media sites such as this continue to refer to them as "experts". Give me a break!! Tom O'Neal and Sasha Stone are the worst. Please stop feeding the beast.

  • AS says:

    I really don't think the dark subject matter will effect whether or not the film receives Oscar nominations. Actually, I think an argument could be made stating that the academy prefers dark subject matter in many cases. No, I think the films chances are impaired by the fact that it's more of a thriller then a drama. The academy doesn't usually nominate thrillers. Take Se7en, Fight Club or The Game for instance. Benjamin Button & Social Network are both dramas, so of course he was nominated. But in any event I really really hope this film gets the recognition it deserves cause it's the only film that has a chance of knocking Drive off my no. 1 spot. Long live the genius Fincher!

  • NP says:

    If a movie about a serial killer who wears lady fleshsuits with his doinger tucked between his legs can win the four biggest Oscars (Pic, Director, Actor, Actress), there's no reason this movie can't. It's been about 20 years since _Silence of the Lambs_' awards sweep, right? So it's the perfect time for well crafted, dark as night film like this to take up its mantle.

  • DWG says:

    Although Brokeback Mt did indeed have an incident of anal intercourse in it, I don't think you could qualify it as rape, since I believe both participants were consentual.

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    Ennis's interlude with his wife sure didn't look consensual.

  • Megan says:

    NP's definitely got a point. Besides people, it's just buttsecks.

  • Remy says:

    The word “rapey” belongs in the dictionary.
    “rapey: the quality of being prone to committing rape or having an association with rape. See also: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and Mike Tyson.”

  • DWG says:

    Didn't even remember Ennis did it with the wife... was refering to the 'tent scene' with Ennis & Jack (obviously) ....

  • Jeff York says:

    Jodie Foster won her first Oscar for a movie whose subject was rape - "The Accused." Not only was it about rape, specifically, a gang rape. Obviously unsavory material, and yet the Academy gold went to Ms. Foster that year. So perhaps "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" has a better shot at nominations than some are saying.

  • KevyB says:

    It's hard to claim the movie is the "rapiest movie to come along in a long time" considering it hasn't released and we won't know exactly how much rape will be in it. Yes, the book is very rapey but that doesn't mean the final edit of the movie will do anything but suggest the rapes. It is, after all, directed by the guy who cut off Gwyneth Paltrow's head BUT NEVER SHOWED THE ACT OR THE HEAD.