Movie Summary of The Social Network by Michael The Moviegoer.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK = ****
By now you should know that David Fincher’s new film “The Social Network” is about the creation of Facebook, an internet website that’s less than a decade old and worth 25 billion dollars. It was started by two college students at Harvard. Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield). Today, the real-life Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history.
The film “The Social Network” is the “Citizen Kane” of movies about successful ventures on the internet. The title of Orson Welles’ 1941 classic has been used as an adjective so often in this way that it’s become a cliché. But here it’s downright appropriate as Zuckerberg rises from penniless student to power, stature, fortune and fame. And all along the way, he has his own ‘Rosebud’ haunting him. A sort-of ex-girlfriend named Erica, played by Rooney Mara. Erica bookends this film in the most unexpected way, but one that validates the ‘Kane’ reference.
We’re first introduced to Mark and Erica while they are on a date that doesn’t seem to be going too well. Their conversation is out-of-sync in a way that toys with us while we try to keep up. If these first 3 minutes of “The Social Network” were released as a ‘short’ film, it could win the Oscar in that category. It says a lot that the following two hours manage to sustain that level of greatness.
Usually in a David Fincher film, it’s Fincher’s style that is front-and-center. But here, Fincher’s technical expertise as a director takes a back seat to Aaron Sorkin’s magnificently written script which will undoubtedly get him his first and long-deserved Oscar. The Sorkin dialogue running throughout this movie has the same rapid-fire rhythm as his scripts for “The West Wing” TV series. Even a single scene with a minor character (the president of Harvard) carries as much weight as any in the movie.
It’s the height of irony that pop music sensation Justin Timberlake is cast as Sean Parker, the guy who wrecked the multi-billion dollar music industry with his creation of Napster. Timberlake, who lost millions in sales to Napster, plays Parker with a sinister giddy charm.
The film is overflowing with fine supporting performances, including David Selby (from the popular 70s TV series “Dark Shadows”) as a lawyer. But “The Social Network” is a powerful, electric lead showcase for Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg. His performance is sure to get him on the Oscar ballot. He made me wonder if the real Zuckerberg ever idolized Val Kilmer’s character Chris Knight in 1985’s “Real Genius”.
With still 3 more months of movies to come, I’m going to go out on a limb and proclaim that “The Social Network” feels just about unbeatable as the year’s best picture.
DVD Double Feature:
Last year’s “Flash Of Genius” was an unfairly overlooked film that now deserves a second chance in light of the success of “The Social Network.” The two films couldn’t be more different in style and attitude. “Flash Of Genius” is set in the 1960s! It’s the true story of Robert Kearns. He invented the modern windshield wiper, and the Ford Motor Company stole it from him. He sued Ford and won a 30-million dollar settlement. Greg Kinnear plays Kearns. His contribution to our lives changed the world we lived in back then, much the way Facebook has changed our lives today.
Michael The Moviegoer
|The Social Network (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)|
|Retail Price: $14.99|
|Amazon Price: $8.87|