The Social Network (with trailer)

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Rating: 4 ½ / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager
 

If there is one film that has come THIS close to getting five stars from me, The Social Network would be it. 

Based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires”, The Social Network focuses on the tumultuous start to Facebook, the most successful networking site yet created. Exactly WHO created Facebook is not in question, but the IDEA of Facebook? Well that’s a grey area according to the film, and the reason why its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, has faced numerous lawsuits. 

An undergraduate at Harvard, Mark (Jesse Eisenberg) has just been dumped by his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara, soon to play the lead in Hollywood’s take on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)…for being…well a bit of a jerk to be honest. Mark talks at a million miles a minute, and comes across as arrogant yet at the same time needing the approval of his peers. Dejected, he heads back to his dorm and begins working on FaceMash, a site that requires its users to rate the attractiveness of female students. The site crashes the Harvard network having had over 20,000 hits in two hours, and brings Mark to the attention of Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss, identical twins on the rowing team. The twins, along with their business partner Divya Narenda, recruit Mark to work on an idea they have had for a website called Harvard Connection that enables people to post profiles and photos. 

However, it would seem Mark takes this idea and runs away with it (literally), refusing to meet with the twins whilst stalling on the Harvard website. He’s had an idea for “TheFacebook”, a site that enables students to connect with each other and post profiles and photos…sound familiar? And he gets his only two friends to help him build it, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz. 

Saverin is played by a British-American actor named Andrew Garfield, who is one to watch and soon to don Spiderman’s tights in the 2012 reboot. His accent is flawless, as is his acting…but then again everyone in this movie is fantastic. The one performance that really stood out for me though was that of Justin Timberlake, who plays Napster founder Sean Parker, Saverin’s protagonist. 

I never thought I’d find a film about the founding of Facebook that interesting, but this is one of the best films I’ve seen for a while (well, since Toy Story 3), and I strongly feel that The Social Network will find itself up for a few nominations come awards season next February. I also never thought I’d think of Justin Timberlake as a serious actor either, but I predict a Best Supporting Actor nomination will be in the post. The screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, A Few Good Men) is outstanding with no dull moments at all. In fact I found it hard to keep up with the rat-a-tat of Jesse Eisenberg’s delivery and a second viewing will be needed to catch the parts I missed. The director David Fincher (Fight Club, Benjamin Button) has created something close to a perfect movie here and may find himself hugging a golden statuette in a few months. 

The soundtrack, by Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, is also worthy of a mention.
I’m off to update my Facebook status now. I ‘like’ this movie. A lot. 

Highly, HIGHLY recommended. 

Standout performance: Justin Timberlake