Weekend Review – “The Social Network”

This movie opens to wide release in the United States and Canada on October 1, 2010.

Cast and Crew Information

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg
Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin
Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker

Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, based on the novel “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich.
Directed by David Fincher


This is the story of the first year or so of Facebook.

High Point

From an in-story standpoint, the creative, yet practical intern selection process. As a film, it also stays surprisingly fair and neutral when it comes to the viewpoints involved in the various lawsuits.

Low Point

The long shot of the rowing race looked a lot like a model shot instead of the real thing. The water was just too still, despite having visible waves. (The waves didn’t move!)

The Review

It’s hard to give credit for the originality of a true story, particularly one that’s been adapted from a book. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were minimal, and mostly amounted to in camera work to control the viewer’s focus. I can’t think of any scene which would require visual effects, but the IMDB credits page lists over 30 visual effects staff who seem to work for three different companies, so whatever they did was entirely realistic and transparent. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is well written. It jumps between different time periods, and although we get specific dates for “past” events, the “current” events are not labelled. There’s no question that the two different time frames are employed, and that there have been massive changes in the depicted friendships, but there’s no clear picture to the viewer about when the changes take place. It adds to the interest and suspense of the story. On top of that, the dialogue and individual scenes are well mapped out between the two time periods, defying the usual “framing” tendency and blending the two together. The structure is excellent, as is the “meat” that hangs off of that structure. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is fantastic. The characters are all entirely believable as human beings, and the actors settle into their roles nicely. I don’t know if they studied with the real people or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. They are distinct characters, but not charicatures. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is David Fincher’s strength. Sorkin’s script runs itself, and Fincher knows how to add the images. The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross accentuates the film quite nicely, driving some scenes and highlighting others. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. The early days are entertaining with quick characterization and some random hijinks, which not only grabs audience attention before the problems arise, but also sets a nice contrast for the latter tensions. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a well made movie about a website that we’ve pretty much all heard of. In addition, it’s an interesting look at a corner of society I suspect many of our readers will recognize. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Social Network receives 36 out of 42.

3 replies on “Weekend Review – “The Social Network””

    • You just did. ;)

      Yeah, I was neither here nor there about this movie before, but it sounds like a good film in its own right, so I might actually look this one up.

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