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James Franco Calls 'The Social Network' "Classically Made" But Conventional

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage January 26, 2011 at 4:18AM

Actor/director/writer/painter/Oscar host James Franco stopped by the Movieline suite at Sundance to discuss his latest film, Best Picture nominee “127 Hours,” as well as its competitor and possible frontrunner “The Social Network.” In the candid and clearly uncoached interview (his PR agent is probably having a freak out right now), Franco says that he believes “127 Hours” was the most innovative movie of 2010 and for a movie supposedly about technology, “The Social Network” is actually a very straightforward narrative.
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Actor/director/writer/painter/Oscar host James Franco stopped by the Movieline suite at Sundance to discuss his latest film, Best Picture nominee “127 Hours,” as well as its competitor and possible frontrunner “The Social Network.” In the candid and clearly uncoached interview (his PR agent is probably having a freak out right now), Franco says that he believes “127 Hours” was the most innovative movie of 2010 and for a movie supposedly about technology, “The Social Network” is actually a very straightforward narrative.

“I know I’m biased; I think it’s the most innovative movie this year. Look, ‘Social Network’ is about new technology and how people are communicating now? Or it’s supposed to be? They don’t deal with any of that! It’s a very classically structured movie and classically made movie. “127 Hours” is about a guy — one single character in a single place. That is like the cutting edge of moviemaking. Short of, like, doing it in 3-D or something. I think [“127 Hours”] is perfect. The fact that people are scared shows they just want the old. They want more of the old, boring stuff.”

He basically sums up what everyone under 50 already knew about “The Social Network”, in that, as well made and entertaining as it is, 'Network' does not “define a generation.” Hell, it’s hardly about the actual technology, it’s a courtroom drama told in multiple flashbacks, not exactly reinventing the wheel. We’re pretty sure David Fincher wouldn’t disagree with him. He goes on to say that even Sundance, supposedly a place for fresh new voices, is not immune to these familiar stories. “I’ve seen, like, three love stories here at Sundance. Traditional love stories! It’s the same old! [Laughs] Two white people… How many time have you seen the story where two white people can’t be together? How many times have you seen that story? Romeo and Juliet! It’s 400 years old! Yeah. I mean, they’re well made movies, but the story itself…”

While we’re not sure “127 Hours” was the most innovative film of last year either, we admire Franco for saying what was on his mind in regards to “The Social Network.” We love Fincher but the film is, by his own admission, a movie about friendships and not trying to rip the lid off anything. We suspect that a few older critics got a little overexcited with their praise of the film and made it out to be something it's not. Watch the full video below via Movieline.

“127 Hours” is expanding onto 600 screens this Friday to capitalize on today’s 6 Oscar nominations so if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth catching in the theater. Unless you want more of the old, boring stuff.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, 127 Hours, The Social Network, James Franco


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