Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Social Network

I saw The Social Network when it first came out in October, and wasn’t sure what to think of it.  It was good; there was no question about that.  But I felt it dragged in the middle, and there were some unnecessary scenes.
I recently watched it again this past Wednesday with some friends in my dorm.  It had obviously grown on me.  I picked up on subtleties and lines I hadn’t noticed before.  The “unnecessary” scenes revealed themselves to be crucial.
Today I watched it for the third time with my family.  I have become convinced this deserves to, and should win the Oscar for Best Picture.
The brilliance of The Social Network is that there are no bad guys.  The characters make mistakes, and they act in morally questionable ways at times, but every single one of them is relatable.  You know where they are coming from, and you understand the emotions that drive their actions, whether it is jealousy, competitiveness, the need to belong, or anything.
Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg rings true through every frame of the movie.  His boredom whenever anyone else speaks, his mile a minute, unable to focus mind, and his cockiness that masks his desperate need for human connection all combine to create one of the truest, most fascinating characters to grace the screen this year.  Also terrific are Andrew Garfield as the betrayed, hurt, ex-best friend, and Armie Hammer, playing both of the proper, enraged Winklevoss twins.  In fact, I could rave about each member of the cast, but I’ll just sum it up by saying this is a perfectly acted film.
Aaron Sorkin’s script is brilliant in that it is completely unique with its rapid fire, endlessly layered dialogue.  You can discover new complexities in it with each subsequent viewing.  It seamlessly blends humor with heart breaking drama, and constantly feels authentic. The dialogue reels the audience in from the very start with the unforgettable opening scene in the coffee house.
The Social Network is a wonderful film, filled with once in a lifetime performances, ingenious dialogue, and a story at once both modern, and timeless.


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