Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Social Network

Timely and relevant, "The Social Network" really does define a generation. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin have created an remarkable film based on the creation of Facebook. Mr. Sorkin's source material was "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mizrich and using his talent for intelligent, rapid fire dialogue, and sharp wit, he, along with Mr. Fincher, have brought the story to life in a very smart and entertaining film.

Mr. Fincher's direction is crisp and economical. Nothing is wasted and every scene sparkles with great dialogue and terrific acting. He continues to astound us with remarkable digital work, creating the important characters of identical twins by overlapping one actor's face and voice over the body of another. It's a seamless digital trick that is incredibly realistic. But his work with the other actors is just as strong. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg, the computer genius but socially inept creator of Facebook. Mr. Eisenberg is perfectly cast and this takes his signature style to another level. The film also stars Justin Timberlake as Napster creator, Sean Parker and Mr. Timberlake continues to grow as an actor with a real star quality. Armie Hammer co-stars as the aforementioned identical Winklevoss twins who sued Mr. Zuckerberg over the idea of Facebook. And another star in the making is Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, Mr. Zuckerberg's partner who also ends up suing him.

The action moves back and forth between the past and the two lawsuits as we watch Mr. Zuckerberg bring Facebook to life while ironically alienating everyone else around him. He is brilliant but totally lacking in social skills, as we painfully discover in the opening scene. A scene in which we are also introduced to Roony Mara, the young actress Mr. Fincher cast as Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming American version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". Skeptical at first of this casting decision, after watch her in this film, I look forward to her portrayal of Ms. Salander.

The film works on so many levels. How much of it is actually true will be left to debate but as a source of entertainment, it is outstanding. Expect a "Best Picture" nomination and see it before you read all about it on Facebook.

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