Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Social Network

We have one more 2010 movie that I blew past for ridiculous reasons, The Social Network. Its interesting that the two movies that fell behind were Inception and The Social Network, since they are going to end up in the #1 and #2 slot for the year. David Fincher is an absolute master at work right now and giving him an Aaron Sorkin script was just unfair.

Who knew the creation of Facebook would be such fertile ground for a major motion picture? Everything about Facebook is sensationalized but I didn’t expect it's rise to dominance to be so dramatic and riveting. 100% truthful or not; The Social Network is a mesmerizing film. I don’t know if it can be chalked up to the story, the script, the directing, or the acting, or a little from column a, b, c, and d but the alchemy was just right. The movie version of Mark Zuckerberg is just a fascinating guy who is that Hollywood staple of being an absolute douchebag that you still root for. Maybe I’m projecting, but his performance felt very similar to Chloe O’Brian from 24. Which is just another way for me to say how much I love this type of character. Fincher steers this movie perfectly. He keeps the plot moving so that the boring boardroom manipulations never stall the momentum. There was always a scene-stealing bit of dialogue right around the corner.

There are a handful of writers out there that reveal themselves immediately once the characters start talking and Aaron Sorkin is near the top of that list. If you didn’t know that Sorkin wrote this script during the rapid fire bar conversation that opened The Social Network, then you must not be familiar with the man. It only gets better from there, as Jesse Eisenberg gets to just attack some serious monologues throughout the film. I may miss weekly doses of Sports Night, The West Wing, or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (yeah that one too) but if the lack of television-Sorkin means some high quality movie-Sorkin every couple of years, I’ll get by.

(Insert weak-ass Michael Cera/Jesse Eisenberg joke here) Eisenberg proves his dramatic ability instantaneously and ends up annihilating Sorkin’s script. He was a perfect fit for Zuckerberg’s hoodie. A flat-out dominant performance; it almost made me forget that he was in The Village. One of Zuckerberg’s wronged parties was played by Spider-Man! Andrew Garfield was impressive as the whiny buddy cutout before Facebook hit it big. See ya in spandex in a couple of summers! But let’s move on to JT. Timberlake proves once again that he has more talent than a boy band member should be allowed to have. I wish there were more coked out and paranoid Sean Parker because those were fun scenes. Fincher deployed subtle special effects to turn Arnie Hammer into the Winklevoss twins. Hammer was very convincing as the duel Ivy league douchebags and Fincher doubled him without the audience even realizing it. Hammer made little choices to distinguish between Tyler and Cameron and unless you read about it before hand you would have assumed that Fincher had found a set of Aryan twins who could act.

In any other year, I would have been happy to toss the number one slot to The Social Network. Sadly, Fincher is gonna have to take a perfect rating but a second place finish. Bring on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

10 out of 10

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