Take Two: The Social Network (2010)

5 Oct

The Social Network 

Rated: PG-13 

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones 

Director: David Fincher 

Chris’ Take: 

I did an article at the beginning of September about the five films that I was anticipating the most this fall. The Social Network was not on there. When I was asked why I didn’t have it on there, I said that it looked like a quick way to make money off of the Facebook craze. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, what I saw last night was a thoughtful look at a complex person and the tragic side of the meteoric rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

The film starts with Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend, Erica, at a bar in 2003 as a conversation about exclusive clubs at Harvard leads to Erica breaking up with him. In a drunken stupor he writes a nasty blog about her and simultaneously creates a web page that allows users to vote on whether one girl is more attractive than another. This page, combined with an idea from two twins, Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss (Armie Hammer), as well as a little financial assistance from Zuckerberg’s best friend and roommate, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) evolves into what eventually becomes Facebook. From there, the film flashes back and forth between two lawsuits happening simultaneously, one from Saverin and one from the Winkelvoss twins, and  the sad story of how the success of  the company and Zuckerberg’s ambition hurt those closest to him while bringing the rest of the world closer to each other. 

 

David Fincher has another incredible directorial success with The Social Network, keeping the audience entertained through what could have been just two hours of drawn out dialogue by ensuring that the appropriate amount of humor and wit maintained a perfect pace. Obviously, without a strong script from Aaron Sorkin this film would  have fallen apart and probably wouldn’t have attracted Fincher’s interest; and Sorkin’s script really was fantastic. 

In my opinion, this was Eisenberg’s best role yet. He usually plays a mumbling and understated loser who is too weak to stand up for himself, and while there are elements of that in this role, he adds a biting tongue and a pompous air that he hadn’t had before. What made his performance amazing was his ability to create minor ways to make the viewer feel sorry for him when he realizes he has done something bad, but can’t figure out the appropriate way to make up for it and gets confused at why people can’t understand his misguided attempts at apology. 

I thought Justin Timberlake might be a hindrance on the film, but he didn’t overdo his role and he played the part Sean Parker really well. Armie Hammer, who played both Winkelvoss twins (sort of) stole some scenes as well. Josh Pence played Tyler Winkelvoss, but Hammer’s face was superimposed over his in post-production, which was really incredible because if I hadn’t known, I wouldn’t have notice at all. 

But will never be as cool as two Arnolds.

Andrew Garfield also did a decent job playing Zuckerberg’s  “just-happy- to-be-involved-but-am-very-naive” best friend. 

While this was definitely a great film, one of the best of the year, I have trouble seeing  it winning a Best Picture award, but it will certainly be nominated. I predict that it will win an award for Best Adapated Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin, and while Fincher will probably at least receive a directorial nomination, he will most likely have to wait again to be recognized by the Academy as one of the greatest directorial minds in the business today. I just hope that when he wins, it is for a film that truly encompasses his genius and that it is not just a bone the Academy throws him, like they did with Martin Scorcese.  

  • Characters: A
  • Cinematography: A-
  • Directing: A
  • Performances: A
  • Plot: A-
  • Overall: A

Pac’s Take:  

David Fincher is one of very few directors in Hollywood whose name is an instant draw for me.  There has not been a single David Fincher feature film that I have seen and not liked (Panic Room being the closest).  So when I first heard there was a movie coming out about Facebook and it was directed by Fincher I naturally thought the streak was over.  

Honestly, how many people reading this review weren’t skeptical; I thought with this movie David Fincher was going to “Johnny Depp” his way out of my instant draw list.  

Seen Above: pulling what I now refer to as a Johnny Depp

 

Add Aaron Sorkin to write and music by Trent Reznor and what you end up getting is the perfect storm to create the perfect Facebook movie.  

Being that the film revolves around Zuckerberg, the movie’s success depends on the performance of its star, Jesse Eisenberg.  I’ll be honest about Eisenberg, I don’t think he’s proven that he can be an A-list actor yet.  I think he is very one-dimensional in all the roles I’ve seen him play and he does not have very much charisma on-screen.  However, if there is one role that he is born to play it is this one.  I don’t know how it happened, but Eisenberg’s portrayal of the Facebook mogul made me hate him and root for him at the same time.  Complimented by a strong, young supporting cast including: Andrew Garfield (the next Spider-man), Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer (who played twins with very different personalities wonderfully), The Social Network was one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.  

That'd make a great stage name!

 

The film isn’t perfect, some scenes in the film seems to drag on a little longer than necessary.  Also, while I love Fincher’s films it seems like he was given the cameras used to make Alien 3, didn’t realize there were green/yellow filters on the lens, and has used them for every movie he’s made since.  

Left to Right: Panic Room, Se7en, The Social Network

 

 Here are my overall scores:  

Characters: A-
Cinematography: B+
Direction: A
Performances: A
Plot: A-
Overall: A 

TAKE TWO OVERALL GRADE: A

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4 Responses to “Take Two: The Social Network (2010)”

  1. Domas November 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Great review. I liked that one. I have to say that I was alittle sceptical about this film since I hated Benjamin Button which for me was unconvincing and too banal. But I would lie if I would say that I wasn’t expecting The Social Network to be good. I was blown away by this film. It was the shortest and most interesting hours in my life. To be honest I think that David Fincher is ready to take the Academy Award. In my opinion he was robbed with Se7en and Fight Club by not getting a nomination. But it’s just my opinion since I am big fan of his works.

    • Chris Petersen November 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

      I agree. This was one of those films where it just sticks with you days and weeks after it is over. I am sure it will at least get a nomination in both Best Picture and Best Director categories and I hope it takes home Best Director.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Movie Reviews by Author « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - November 10, 2010

    […] The Social Network                     A                               A […]

  2. Pac’s Best/Worst Films of 2010 « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - January 5, 2011

    […] 2.  The Social Network […]

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