If you have not read any of the Millennium trilogy of novels by Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, someone near you has. A worldwide sensation published after the death of the author, the books follow the title character, Lisbeth Salandar, a slight but tough and determined young woman who is a genius with computers but possibly Aspergian in her inability to connect to other people.
This film, based on the first of the books, comes out on DVD just as the second film with the same cast is released in theaters and the third book has been published in the US. It won the Swedish equivalent of the Oscar for best film and best actress for Noomi Rapace as Salander.
They are already working on an American version, but it is hard to imagine that it could match this superb adaptation, utterly true to the book and yet completely cinematic. As the story begins, a character much like Larsson takes center stage. He is Mikael Blomkvist (superbly played by Michael Nyqvist), a journalist in disgrace and about to go to jail for publishing false information about a powerful businessman. As he waits to begin to serve his term, he is offered an intriguing opportunity — a wealthy man hires him to investigate the disappearance of his favorite niece, forty years ago. Salander finds out what he is doing and begins to help him, at first anonymously, and then more directly. Together, they get tangled up in a world where every rule is violated, every promise broken, every loyalty betrayed.