Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

The Social Network Update and Review

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 21, 2010 at 3:10AM

Given the way things pile on now, you've already read more than you want to know about a movie you are dying to see, David Fincher's The Social Network. Some of you will go to the New York Film Festival September 24; others will wait until it opens October 1.
6
Thompson on Hollywood

Given the way things pile on now, you've already read more than you want to know about a movie you are dying to see, David Fincher's The Social Network. Some of you will go to the New York Film Festival September 24; others will wait until it opens October 1.

What can I tell you? The screening at Sony Backstage was packed. (Edgar Wright and Anna Kendrick were in my row, along with ex-Premiere scribe Fred Schruers, who is finishing up his Billy Joel book and writing a story on the movie for THR, and Snagfilms chief Rick Allen; also in the room were THR film editor Gregg Kilday and critic Kirk Honeycutt, Gregory Ellwood of Hitfix, a gaggle of Variety writers, MCN's David Poland and David Ansen of Newsweek.) Sony is screening the hell out of The Social Network because it risks being too smart for the room. They feel the need to get buzz going, but at this juncture, their marketing risks overhype and backlash. UPDATE: Here's THR, Variety and Todd McCarthy.

Luckily, The Social Network is a whip-sharp speed-ball of a movie that delivers a powerful origin myth. Jesse Eisenberg and writer Aaron Sorkin (the subject of a juicy must-read profile by Mark Harris in New York Magazine) are shoo-ins to land their first Oscar noms, and more are likely, including best picture, director, cinematography, editing and sound mixing and editing.

Rooney Mara (who Fincher later cast as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), holds her own in a tiny role as Mark Zuckerberg's Boston U girlfriend. In the super-speedy opening scene, she's trying to keep up with her motormouth date; by the end she says talking to him is like being on a stairmaster and she dumps him. If he doesn't fare well with girls later in life, it won't be because he's a nerd, she tells him, but because he's an "asshole." In Sorkin's telling of the founding of Facebook (based on Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires), that starts everything. This geeks' success story is often light and comedic. Fincher throws in drugs and sex and Palo Alto fantasies--and Napster founder Sean Parker (a suave and smarmy Justin Timberlake) as The Devil--to keep things fun.

Technologically, the movie is almost too digital. Fincher, who likes to fuss with his intermediates, can't help but add digital breath when Zuckerberg and his soon-to-be-ex-partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield, later cast as Spider-Man) are standing outside in the cold, or slow and fuzzy digital snow flakes. In one disco scene between Zuckerberg and Parker, we clearly hear their dialogue through a pounding wall of sound, an astonishing mixing feat. When the camera leaves Zuckerberg's deposition conference rooms--which work well as the film's narrative spine--and claustrophobic shots of glowing heads wired into laptops, it cuts to two magnificent Harvard twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (borrowing a seamless head-replacement device from Benjamin Button, Armie Hammer plays both), rowing. The movie snickers at these Olympian embodiments of the old world; they play by gentlemens' club rules, sweat when they exercise and tune into nature. Zuckerberg wears flip flops in the snow and a bathrobe to a business meeting, and can barely communicate with others.

Remarkably, the movie makes us care about the youngest billionaire in the world. Even if Zuckerberg is an asshole, he's still a hero. He fascinates us, because he is part of who we are now.

[Photo of Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield courtesy New York Magazine.]

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Stuck In Love, Reviews, Oscars, David Fincher, NYFF, Drama, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics, Screenwriters, Critics


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.