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Tag: the social network

Million Dollar Movie

I saw “The Social Network” in a packed theater on Friday night on the upper west side. It was an older crowd sprinkled with couples my age and younger. The audience laughed at some of the clever dialogue and did not show signs of displeasure throughout. I went in not expecting to like to movie because a) I didn’t trust the hype and b) I’m not big on either the director David Fincher or the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. 

Still, no matter what reservations I bring to a movie, I always hope to be surprised.

“The Social Network” is brisk and confident, bravura filmmaking, and it throbs along. It is a good, old fashioned melodrama, made by intelligent people–who may believe that they are smarter than they actually are—about intelligent people. Underneath the surface, the rapid-fire-language, the slick technique, there isn’t much happening. The movie is rarely boring but it’s also a somber, portentous journey. I didn’t buy any of it and think the movie verges on self-parody from the onset–the angry drunk nerd, coding and blogging in a fury, the jealous business partners foiled again!


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creates a five-hundred-million-strong network of “friends,” but Zuckerberg is so egotistical, work-obsessed, and withdrawn that he can’t stay close to anyone; he blows off his only real pal, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), a fellow Jewish student at Harvard, who helps him launch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.

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