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Million Dollar Movie

“The Social Network” is getting rave reviews. Check out this gusher from David Denby in The New Yorker:

“The Social Network,” directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, rushes through a coruscating series of exhilarations and desolations, triumphs and betrayals, and ends with what feels like darkness closing in on an isolated soul. This brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching movie is built around a melancholy paradox: in 2003, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), a nineteen-year-old Harvard sophomore, invents Facebook and eventually creates a five-hundred-million-strong network of “friends,” but Zuckerberg is so egotistical, work-obsessed, and withdrawn that he can’t stay close to anyone; he blows off his only real pal, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), a fellow Jewish student at Harvard, who helps him launch the site. The movie is not a conventionally priggish tale of youthful innocence corrupted by riches; nor is it merely a sarcastic arrow shot into the heart of a poor little rich boy. Both themes are there, but the dramatic development of the material pushes beyond simplicities, and the portrait of Zuckerberg is many-sided and ambiguous; no two viewers will see him in quite the same way. The debate about the movie’s accuracy has already begun, but Fincher and Sorkin, selecting from known facts and then freely interpreting them, have created a work of art. Accuracy is now a secondary issue. In this extraordinary collaboration, the portrait of Zuckerberg, I would guess, was produced by a happy tension, even an opposition, between the two men—a tug-of-war between Fincher’s gleeful appreciation of an outsider who overturns the social order and Sorkin’s old-fashioned, humanist distaste for electronic friend-making and a world of virtual emotions. The result is a movie that is absolutely emblematic of its time and place. “The Social Network” is shrewdly perceptive about such things as class, manners, ethics, and the emptying out of self that accompanies a genius’s absorption in his work. It has the hard-charging excitement of a very recent revolution, the surge and sweep of big money moving fast and chewing people up in its wake.


1 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 1, 2010 1:32 pm

I'm really curious to see it. I've never been a Sorkin fan - I've always felt his "brilliant" dialogue just served to say "look at me - what a writer I am!" As for Fincher, I think Seven (Thats right, because 7 is not a letter and spelling it Se7ven would read SeSevenven) is overrated, pretentious crap, but I thought Zodiac was fantastic. There's no doubt he's a talented stylist. Be very curious to see what these two have cooked up. The trailer was terrific.

2 The Hawk   ~  Oct 1, 2010 2:12 pm

I despise David Denby

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Oct 1, 2010 2:57 pm

[2] I flip right past it if I see his byline.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 1, 2010 3:21 pm

Not a Denby fan, REALLY don't like Sorkin but I do want to see this one.

5 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 1, 2010 4:09 pm

[4] Not at all surprised you dislike Sorkin too. So "written," in my opinion.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 1, 2010 4:40 pm

Yeah and smug as shit too.

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Oct 1, 2010 4:42 pm

I also don't have any interest in Facebook. So that leaves Fincher.

8 NoamSane   ~  Oct 1, 2010 4:49 pm

[2] Word.
[3] Ditto.

Still vaguely interested in the movie though.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 1, 2010 5:38 pm

I hated Se7en. Not thrilled about Facebook. Never saw Zodiac. I have no interest in watching genuflection over something I don't really care about created by someone I'm not the least bit interested in. And btw, $100 million won't go far in Newark unless you mean "administrative expenses"...

10 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 1, 2010 5:47 pm

Going tonight to see it, gotta say I'm pretty excited.

Sorkin can come off as overly "written," but much in the same way as someone like David Mamet or Woody Allen. I know people don't talk like that, but I stll like hearing it once in a while.

[9] oh I definitely agree on the Newark front (NJ native and the son of a public school admin. so you can imagine my thoughts). But I don't think this is going to be any sort of genuflection. If anything I think its going to be a bit of a comdenation of Zuckerberg.

A buddy of mine was a production assistant at the Webby awards a few years back (yes, the Webby awards) and was tasked with shadowing Zuckerberg for the night. I asked him if the whole thing (and him) was as off-putting and weird as it seems from a distance, his response was "No...its much much worse"

11 The Hawk   ~  Oct 1, 2010 6:44 pm

I like Fincher. It is what it is. I can see someone not liking it, I just happen to appreciate it.

Alien 3 was mediocre at best but, Seven was good for what it was, The Game was decent, pretty cool actually, Fight Club was great, Panic Room solid, Zodiac very good, Benjamin Button, eh, it was all right. But I like his filmmaking style; sometimes it's satisfying just because you like someone's steez even if the end product is very flawed.

Like I haven't fallen in love with Boardwalk Empire but so far I'm down just cause of the look of the thing. Course that'll wear off after a while, but it's a similar thing.

12 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 1, 2010 6:57 pm

[11] I liked Zodiac so much, I'm willing to keep my eye on whatever Fincher does. It's just that it's the only one of his films that really worked for me.

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