BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: The Social Network


The Social Network
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer

There are girls playing PlayStation in the next room, and you’re uploading internet code.  Such are the ways of kings in the 21st century, and one of the keenest insights made in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

As you probably know by now, this is “The Facebook Movie.”  It’s also a potent drama, fueled by stories and themes as ancient as both stories and themes.  Betrayal, identity, and the nature of friendship are all at the core of Aaron Sorkin’s stunning screenplay.  The Sorkin/Fincher pairing, however unlikely, pays off in spades.

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REVIEW: Catfish

Catfish
Directed by: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Written by: N/A
Starring: Yaniv Schulman, Angela Wesselman, and Ariel Schulman

Catfish, the documentary yin to The Social Network’s yang, begins innocently and romantically enough.  Yaniv Schulman, a photographer from New York, begins a romantic relationship online with a girl from Michigan named Megan.  Of course, for the movie to be interesting or even worth releasing, it can’t stay that simple.

The tone of this documentary is not quite journalistic, but leans more toward the Michael Moore style of documentary filmmaking.  In essence, that means it takes a point of view beforehand, and opts for entertainment rather than insight.  When this relationship with Megan delves into the creepy, the filmmakers aren’t quite willing to take that unbiased leap.  We don’t explore the world of Angela Wesselman, Megan’s “mom,”  as much as we observe her as if we were at a zoo.

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Communication breakdown: always the same?

According to the two front-runners for this year’s Best Picture Oscar, The King’s Speech and The Social Network, communication is not half the battle: it’s the entire war.  These two very different seeming movies actually speak mounds about our fear to speak. 

The Social Network is the more obvious with this, taking a dark, rapid-fire look into how one outcast started an online empire simply because he couldn’t fit into the real world.  Mark Zuckerberg, as many may have noticed on his recent Saturday Night Live appearance, has trouble in real life.  The way Jesse Eisenberg portrays him, his brain seems backed up because he can’t talk fast enough, emitting sentences in short, machine gun-like bursts.

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REVIEW: The Social Network


The Social Network
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer

There are girls playing PlayStation in the next room, and you’re uploading internet code.  Such are the ways of kings in the 21st century, and one of the keenest insights made in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

As you probably know by now, this is “The Facebook Movie.”  It’s also a potent drama, fueled by stories and themes as ancient as both stories and themes.  Betrayal, identity, and the nature of friendship are all at the core of Aaron Sorkin’s stunning screenplay.  The Sorkin/Fincher pairing, however unlikely, pays off in spades.

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TRAILER: The Social Network

The Social Network
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Ben Mezrich (book)
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, and Justin Timberlake

There’s always that early fall movie that gets ridiculously good reviews.  Last year it was Precious, and this year it looks like David Fincher’s Facebook exposé The Social Network.  Already hailed as a classic by publications as diverse as Rolling Stone and Film Comment, it looks to be yet another “movie of the moment,” much like Up in the Air. It’s hard pressed to make that kind of judgment until the movie actually comes out, but the trailer itself doesn’t speak this highly of the movie.

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