DVD of the Week: The Social Network

JE and JT

Winner of Best Dramatic Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Score at Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards, The Social Network does not disappoint in any way shape or form.  After having bypassed this film while it was in theaters, I picked up the DVD last week upon it’s release and immediately lamented that I could not be more timely in my review of the DVD.  Having not yet seen it I didn’t really think calling it a “DVD of the Week” would be appropriate.  Just because I believed it would take home the big trophy at the Golden Globes, because I believe it will win the Oscar and because not one single person I know who has seen this film has uttered a single bad word about it…. those are not reasonable causes to write about something I haven’t seen.  My wait ended last week… I have seen the film and am happy to join the throngs of others in saying “Holy crap what a great movie!”

From the moment the film opens you realize you are seeing something different and wonderful.  In David Fincher’s more than capable hands, we open on a scene between Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg and Erica Albright, Zuckerberg’s apparent girlfriend played by the lovely Rooney Mara.  Within seconds, you know something is off with this guy.  Although having a conversation with a beautiful woman directly in front of him, he is looking around and seemingly having about three different conversations.  One with her in real time, one with her in the past and one completely in his head.  After two minutes I hated the guy.

If you are aware of Aaron Sorkin’s previous work as a screenwriter and creator of such television shows as The West Wing, the dialogue’s pace and feel will be familiar.  The rat-a-tat-tat give and take, the talking over other’s lines… all combine to give this kinetic energy to what could have been a boring courtroom drama or biopic of a socially awkward guy.  What we get is a story that seem to unfold in multiple places.  Two court cases and covering a period of no more than five years, the story has an epic quality to it that quite frankly took me by surprise.  The story of the creation of Facebook turns out to be a more rich and interested tale than I would have thought.

Who deserves the most credit for creating this fantastic film?  Fincher?  Eisenberg?  Sorkin?  I would have to say this is one of those rare instances where all parts have combined to created something wonderful… and if any one of those parts were not present, the entire production would have suffered.  If ever the idea of an ensemble being responsible this is it.  As always, David Fincher’s direction is technically and artistically spot on.  Sorkin’s script as mentioned before… stunning.  And the performances… my oh my… simply stupendous.  From the aforementioned Eisenberg and Mara to Andrew Garfield and the always welcome Justin Timberlake.  Not a single dropped beat… a masterclass in acting.  Even Brenda Song, who I previously knew from having to suffer through Disney’s Zach and Cody craptacular shows, is a revelation.  And the score!!  I didn’t even mention the score!!  I have never been a fan of Trent Reznor… that may be changing. 

I am not going to get into the plot other than to say it is about the creation of Facebook.  The less specifics you know the better.

I suppose it’s rather pointless to say I am recommending this movie.  I am very very very much recommending this movie.  Perhaps I was the last person in the U.S. to not see this movie… but if you haven’t, treat yourself to something remarkable.  Buy it, rent it or stream it… just see this movie.

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Cornelius J. Blahg

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