Monday, 14 February 2011


If movies could win Best Picture on their ability to tune into a zeitgeist alone, films such as Twilight and Harry Potter would leave the Oscar's very pleased. But they didn't. When a film manages to dissolve a zeitgeist and shows every aspect of it from the nerdy to the awesome, we get something special. So here we have a movie for the internet age. A movie made for everyone who has used a particular website. Anyone who has used The Social Network.

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) wants to be cool. After being dumped and a host of blog posts later, he creates a website known as Face Mash. It turns out to be a hit and crashes Harvard's servers. This serves as insperation. It also catches the attention of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (Josh Pence and Armie Hammer respectively) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) who wish Mark to work on their new site, Harvard Connection. A social network site exclusively for Harvard students. More insperation. Mark builds on this idea with his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garefield) and they create 'Thefacebook.' Believing that their idea was stolen, the Winklevoss twins (or Winklevii) begin taking action, first as 'Harvard Gentlemen' and then they take legal action. Court case number 1. As Facebook grows, now outside of Harvard, Mark and Eduardo begin to drift apart especially when Sean Parker (Justin Timbelake) gets involved. Slowly, Eduardo is pushed out of Facebook and, after his name is removed as co-creator, he takes legal action of his own. Court case number 2. Poor Mark. He never even wanted a profit. He just wanted to be cool.

As the world's youngest billionaire, Mark decided he'd try out his 'early retirement look.'

The film blends perfectly from the 'present day' court cases to the past and history of the famous website. But more on that later. For now, the performances. Only one nominated. Jesse Eisenberg is up for the Best Actor gong but does he deserve it? In a weaker year he may stand a better chance. While his turn as the world's youngest billionaire may, if you're like me, become one of your favourite on screen personas, he lacks something that the other nominated actors have. However, it's still a brilliant show. The fast talking character is a brilliant hybrid of arrogance and self consciousness. His sarcasm and wit give the movie pace and a a level of intelligent humor that so many films lack nowadays. Both Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake throw in brilliant supporting performances. Garfield excels as the angry, hurt and probably very jealous best friend. When you consider how close Eisenberg and Garfield are, their dramatic and tension filled, onscreen relationship becomes all the more impressive. Also, if you're not one to think of Timberlake as a serious actor, prepare to be proved wrong. As the super cool Sean Parker, he shows how awesome the world of nerdy computer logistics can be starting with the simple suggestion of one billion dollars.

When one of my favourite directors is behind a film, you can be assured that it'll be a damn good movie. So from the man who made Fight Club and Se7en, what can we expect? Something excellent. That's what. David Fincher provides another excellent film and his most contemporary to date. Before he's dabbled in horror, (Se7en) Dark comedy and thriller (Fight Club) and psychological thriller (the Game) but yet here we are with the always exciting concept of... The Internet! But seriously, this character drama is truly brilliant and it's probably likely to be down to David Fincher's perfectionism. The opening scene alone took 99 takes. Fincher certainly deserves an Oscar. Maybe not for this film but it's now a famous quote that, 'the right people win Oscars for the wrong films.' If Fight Club and Se7en didn't win, surely it's about time Fincher was recognised. We don't want another Stanley Kubrick or Alfred Hitchcock do we?

At Harvard, even the writing paper is glass.

The techno score may not be for all but it suits the technological subject matter that the whole movie is based around. But being modern and techno it may not appeal to a lot of Oscar voters out there but the mixing is excellent. (Oscar perhaps?) The cinematography is good but I wouldn't say it's to the standard of, Inception, Kings Speech or True Grit (Review coming soon) so probably not likely to get the Oscar there. The editing, however is a different matter. As already mentioned, the film easily blends from one time zone to another. Often it manages it perfectly within a conversation. My vote is certainly between The Kings Speech and this for the editing Oscar. The editing Oscar is a famous sign of a best picture winner... Coincidence?

A really excellent film. Funny, emotional and exciting. The characters are compelling and the dialogue is pacy. It has everything a Best Picture winner needs: brains, strong characters, emotion, humour and, of course, an I-can -overcome-all-obstacles story - though not a traditional one. It's such a difficult year to pick a winner. Predictions coming soon. But for the meantime, see this.

Best bit? The sarcasm. The movie drips sarcasm. See below for David Fincher's favourite example.

Gretchen: 18,000 dollars?
Eduardo Saverin: Yes.
Gretchen: In addition to the $1,000 you'd already put up?
Eduardo Saverin: Yes.
Gretchen: A total of $19,000 now?
Eduardo Saverin: Yes.
Mark Zuckerberg: Hang on. [Mark sarcastically adds up the 2 amounts on his notepad]
Mark Zuckerberg: I'm just checking your math on that. Yes, I got the same thing.

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