Tuesday, April 06, 2010

to age in style

I saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo the other day. It's a good movie. I liked the book a lot when I read it, and the film more or less tells the same story.

A young woman disappeared in the mid 1960s, and a journalist is asked to solve the mystery some 40 years later.

The movie is Swedish, with subtitles in English.

I've lived in the US for 15 years, and it is always great to see Swedish people, cars, streets, houses, scenery, and choices. Makes me feel at home.

At one point the main character sets out to interview a woman in another town. Does he jump in his BMW? His Volvo? No, he goes on the bus, and from the bus stop to her house he walks along a snowy country road.

I recognized most of the actors, but some of them confused me. I couldn't figure out why, until I did some math in my head.

Some characters in the movie were supposed to have been teenagers in the mid-1960s, and the story takes place 40 years later. That means they are in their 50s when we meet them.

The reason I got confused was that Swedish casting directors had actually gone ahead and cast men and women in their 50s, to play characters in their 50s.

There were three actresses in the film I couldn't place. They looked vaguely familiar, but no names popped into my head.

When the closing credits listed Ewa Fröling (b. 1952), Marika Lagerkrantz (b. 1954), and Lena Endre (b. 1955), all very well known Swedish actors, I had to think to be able to link the names to the faces I had just seen.

Not only did these three women play characters close to their own age. They also looked their own age, because (I have to assume) they haven't had the plastic surgery that is common in Hollywood.

Had these three beautiful women been American actors, they would have looked closer to how I remember them: the 35-year-old versions of themselves.

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