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Strong Buzz Coming from Early Review of The Social Network

by
August 20, 2010

The Social Network

One of my most anticipated movies coming in fall is David Fincher's The Social Network. Despite being popularly known as the "Facebook Movie", I'm excited for it because I think it's a fascinating, contemporary story and I love David Fincher. I haven't seen it yet but a very early review of the film hit on Film Comment (via Awards Daily) written by critic Scott Foundas and it's even a lot more positive than I expected it to be. Foundas calls The Social Network, "splendid entertainment from a master storyteller, packed with energetic incident and surprising performances." You can read his full review or I've highlighted the best parts below.

Here's a few of the key sections from Foundas' review that really touch on how great The Social Network is:

"This is very rich material for a movie on such timeless subjects as power and privilege, and such intrinsically 21st-century ones as the migration of society itself from the real to the virtual sphere—and David Fincher's The Social Network is big and brash and brilliant enough to encompass them all. It is nominally the story of the founding of Facebook, yes, and how something that began among friends quickly descended into acrimony and litigation once billions of dollars were at stake. But just as All the President's Men—a seminal film for Fincher and a huge influence on his Zodiac—was less interested by the Watergate case than by its zeitgeist-altering ripples, so too is The Social Network devoted to larger patterns of meaning. It is a movie that sees how any social microcosm, if viewed from the proper angle, is no different from another—thus the seemingly hermetic codes of Harvard University become the foundation for a global online community that is itself but a reflection of the all-encompassing high-school cafeteria from which we can never escape…"

"I hasten to add that The Social Network is splendid entertainment from a master storyteller, packed with energetic incident and surprising performances (not least from Justin Timberlake as Napster founder Sean Parker, who’s like Zuckerberg’s flamboyant, West Coast id). It is a movie of people typing in front of computer screens and talking in rooms that is as suspenseful as any more obvious thriller. But this is also social commentary so perceptive that it may be regarded by future generations the way we now look to Gatsby for its acute distillation of Jazz Age decadence. There is, in all of Fincher’s work, an outsider’s restlessness that chafes at the intractable rules of 'polite' society and naturally aligns itself with characters like the journalist refusing to abandon the case in Zodiac and Edward Norton’s modern-day Dr. Jekyll in Fight Club…"

I'm sure there's going to be a few dissenters coming out of the woodwork now claiming that there's just "no way" a movie about Facebook could be that good, but I think they need to open themselves up. This review is the first big step towards convincing those of you who doubted that Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin could tackle such a recent story as the founding of Facebook with this much depth and brilliance, but they actually have done that. I can believe it and this only makes me more excited to see it. It may be partially that I think Fincher is a great filmmaker and can usually do no wrong, but it's also that I think there's just something very intriguing about the story that I hope he's brought through on film (it sounds like he has).

The Social Network will open the New York Film Festival next month and it arrives in theaters everywhere on October 1st. I'm extremely anxious to see it and I hope I get the opportunity to check it out and relay my thoughts to you guys. There's probably going to be a lot of debate over its merits and whether it's really as great as Foundas (or anyone else who loves it) says, but I have a feeling Fincher and Sorkin pulled it off and have put together a fantastic film. I'll be reading any other reviews that pop up and I hope those of you who aren't interested yet finally take notice, as The Social Network may indeed be one of the highlights of 2010.

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Reader Feedback - 29 Comments

1

The buzz I hear from non film aficionados is that it "sounds stupid", the ironic part is that most of these friends are highly addicted to Facebook. I'm very much looking forward to this and I think it's going to really strike a cord with most people from who grew up watching the online community evolve into what it is today. The story is fascinating and relatable so as long as the acting is good I know Fincher will knock it out of the park.

peloquin on Aug 20, 2010

2

I'm gonna see it. Eisenberg and Timberlake seem to be at their best here.

Xerxex on Aug 20, 2010

3

Nice I can't wait to see this.

LINKFX on Aug 20, 2010

4

No word on the soundtrack?

ryderup on Aug 20, 2010

5

I don't like Eisenberg. And god damn, that is the only reason I am not excited to see this. But I am trying so hard to get to that "really need to see" level. Also @1: If you're a heavy Facebook user and you think this sounds stupid, it's not ironic. It's just like a heavy Battleship boardgame player thinking the new movie adaptation sounds stupid. Such is life, eh?

Cracky on Aug 20, 2010

6

I'm glad to read someone has given this film an early positive review. I didn't think it was fair to criticize Fincher's choice when he has long since been revered as a master filmmaker. He has yet to direct an absolute hunk of shit in my opinion. Can anyone say the same about Spielberg? (Eh-em...Hook?) Great filmmakers go after great stories that are challenging. I'm sure Fincher felt this story would be a challenge of his talent. I for one am glad he took it on. I can't wait to watch it and see the end result of his direction.

ModernAmericanMan on Aug 20, 2010

7

The thing is Fincher usually makes interesting movies that are some of the most important movies of this generation. The Social Network seems a little bland for him.

Moon on Aug 20, 2010

8

#7 That's where I would challenge you Moon. I don't see how this is NOT an important film for this generation. Every young kid wants to make billions nowadays. And, they want to do it through the internet. Here's a story about a kid who did it. Besides, how important was Fincher's Panic Room, or Alien 3, or The Game? I enjoyed them all, but to say they were some of the most important films of this generation is a bit overstated, don't you think?

ModernAmericanMan on Aug 20, 2010

9

@6 hook was awesome.

Xerxex on Aug 20, 2010

10

this movie will suck...fincher getting old and loosing his fucking mind with this bullshit teenager movies.

ED on Aug 20, 2010

11

yeah, peps spend whole days on facebook and same peps will go see it... really if someone is even wanting to watch this is really lacking a real Social Life

gfdgd on Aug 20, 2010

12

@ Detractors. The film is about Facebook, yes, but more than that, it's about the zeitgeist. For better or for worse, Facebook (and many other internet companies) have changed EVERYTHING in the way the world operates day to day. It is irrelevant whether or not you are a fan or a user of Facebook. If you have any interest in society, and how that society is formed, informed, and motivated, this is the kind of movie you want to see. Fincher DOES make movies that define generations, and I can't think of a more generation-defining subject than the founding of a multi-billion dollar corporation that captured the interest of the civilized world. If you don't think Facebook is an important sociological development (if not a productive or useful one) then you simply haven't been paying attention.

The Hornet King on Aug 20, 2010

13

Fincher is great director I know he can pull this off. The only reason I am excited about this movie is because Fincher is directing it and I know he doesn't make that bad movies.

joe_6285 on Aug 21, 2010

14

gfdgd what? how'd you come up with that? its a movie, and david fincher is directing it that's why we are gonna go see it.

Xerxex on Aug 21, 2010

15

This is my most anticipated movie of the decade. you guys that are complaining just rent the worst movie of all time meet the spartans because it sounds like that is all you can appreciate.

Loser on Aug 21, 2010

16

Unfortunately some guys starting to suck David Fincher ball's before watching his new movie about fucking facebook, please watch his goddamn movie and then starting to sucking his hairy balls!!!(remember a frame of fight club at end scene!!!). what u wanna see? a couple of looser teens around thair pc and chating with others...nothing more!im sure,because i saw fall of fincher when "zodiac"relased......! i wish him a good turn after 3 disaster movies. please forget fucking oscar and make a trailer just like 7 or game or something similar else.

Joe on Aug 21, 2010

17

all i can say is "ehh" not interested

Jimmy Love on Aug 21, 2010

18

There's way too many fucking assholes on this site now

terces7 on Aug 21, 2010

19

#16 You've just discredited yourself with your moronic rant. Find a dictionary, a thesaurus, and an original thought...then post here.

ModernAmericanMan on Aug 21, 2010

20

Sounds like an interesting film. Like the 1999 Pirates of Silicon Valley, the story of how these mega-companies started from nothing is really quite fascinating. Like lightning in a bottle.

casting couch on Aug 22, 2010

21

im agree with #16,because fincher is out of his style by the movies he made in recent years. why facebook? im happy yahoo360 is closed!!!!

Panta on Aug 22, 2010

22

#21 Because the movie isn't about Facebook. It's about Mark Zuckerberg, the creator. It's about the betrayal and court drama--The women, the money, and the sex. Facebook is a back drop to a much deeper story about friends willing to say "fuck off" for billions. It's a modern day tale about greed. You're all way too hung up on the facebook thing. It isn't about that. Anyone ever see an interview with Mark Zuckerberg? Look it up on Youtube. He's an interesting character. You all should be applauding Fincher for taking on a challenge instead of giving you Se7en Part Deux, or a Fight Club prequel. Did any of you see Zodiac? That film was brilliant. People complained the same way: "Another movie about the Zodiac killer? Waaaaah." But Fincher ended up telling a compelling story about Paul Avery and Robery Graysmith. Fincher does films about unusual friendships: Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You're all totally missing the point. I'm sorry your lack of respect for Fincher as a filmmaker and your desire to see another Se7en/Fight Club type movie is holding your emotions hostage. Problem is, Fincher hasn't done a film like that in 11 years. Most of you were in elementary school when those films came out. Lastly, Fincher gained more respect for his films Zodiac and Benjamin Button than he did for Se7en and Fight Club. Take a film class for God's sake. You'd learn that pretty quick.

ModernAmericanMan on Aug 22, 2010

23

I was never expecting the truth from this film; only a good story.

Joseph Demme on Aug 22, 2010

24

Can it be that most people here just want to see well trained men in spandex, violence and explosions. maybe a boob or two if anyone would wonder why they only watch muscle men in spandex. I remember in grade school people saying love starts with boys pulling girls pigtails or pushing them so in other words they only want to watch muscle men in spandex using violence and that means what?? 🙂 🙂

loser on Aug 22, 2010

25

ModernAmericaMan spot on!

Xerxex on Aug 22, 2010

26

Well Modern american man I have seen all his films and no I do not want another seven or fight club, but I also don't want to see a movie about some douche bag and his quest for money, we live with that everyday, its the main reason that this country is in as bad a shape as it is, next we'll see a film about google and verizon, yay! I just don't believe that because its fincher its gonna be great. At this point in time I believe we are getting the worst films ever made, because of the almighty dollar. And i don't need a film class for that. I love a good art film like anybody else, but not all films have to be art films, god I at least am open to the brainless stuff, you need that to appreciate the art film

Jimmy Love on Aug 22, 2010

27

I don't care what anybody says, this is a classic "rise and fall" story, and I always loved those. Doesn't matter if it's about an artist, gangsters or the kid who invented facebook; I'm very intrigued and captivated by the dramas that follow someone's rise to fame and them ultimately hitting rock bottom. I'll be seeing this for sure.

SuicidalOptimist on Aug 22, 2010

28

#26 C'mon Jimmy. We won't see a film about Google or Verizon because those companies didn't change the face of social networking in the midst of controversy due to social back stabbing, lies, or deceit. At least not in the manner that the public was aware of, like the Zuckerberg lawsuits. Mark Zuckerberg created an international social network by himself. That's far more interesting than how Verizon created fiber optic internet only to sell bits and pieces off to the highest bidder. There are other films about douchebag quests for money in a time when the public didn't really want to see it: Wall Street (and now Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), Boiler Room, American Psycho, Scarface, Citizen Kane... I'm not touting the film as the next great Wall Street, or Citizen Kane. I'm saying this: Why crucify it before it's released? Why say David Fincher is washed up when The Curious Case of Benjiman Button was his first Oscar nomination for Best Director? Clearly he's at the top of his game. Clearly the fanboys on this site don't know anything about film. If it doesn't interest you than I respect that. Personally, I'm not going to run to see it. I may wait for the bluray release, but what I'm NOT doing is saying it's "shit" or that Fincher is "fucking washed up" when he's clearly, CLEARLY at the top of his game and can make ANY film he wants. Any...Film. I respect him for doing something unusual (Even though I agree with you on this: Who needs another film about greed...).

ModernAmericanMan on Aug 22, 2010

29

It's the cast that bothers me the most... but we'll see.

graffiti bandit on Aug 23, 2010

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