In previous years, Boxing Day was the day that my family went to the local pantomime. But since multiplex took over from humble theatre, we instead found a play to see on the 23rd and went to the cinema on the 27th to see the much-anticipated Hollywood version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Giving a book that is macabre, gritty and complex to Fincher was probably the best option when giving this series the Hollywood treatment, and from the Bond-style opening credits and the first few notes of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' melancholy, minimalist score, you are comfortable that you won't be witnessing a butchering. A combination of a subtly starry cast, led by a well-restrained Daniel Craig, some stunning shots and the exception Rooney Mara, who deserves at least an Oscar nod if not the statuette itself for her cold, clinical yet strangely vulnerable and often bitingly funny Lisbeth, carry the film through a tense and engrossing two and a half hours that you barely notice dragging.
Murder, family feuds, Nazis, sexual violence and a whole lot of body piercings would not normally be considered festive fayre. But when the package is this good, the performances this strong, and you get to watch, in the manner of Carey Mulligan in 'An Education', a truly star-birthing performance from Mara, you can definitely afford to take a break from the sloppy festive tv schedule for a while.
Also, they have a beautiful cover of my favourite Bryan Ferry song in the credits, so that's also a win.