Top 365 Films – #136 – The Social Network (2010)


Top 365 Films - The Social NetworkDIRECTED BY: David Fincher

STARRING: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Brenda Song, John Getz, David Selby, Denise Grayson, Douglas Urbanski, Rooney Mara, Joseph Mazzello, Dustin Fitzsimons, Wallace Langham, Patrick Mapel, Dakota Johnson, Malese Jow, Trevor Wright, Shelby Young and Rashida Jones

BUDGET: $40m

EARNED (Worldwide): $224.9m

AWARDS: 3 Oscars (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score), 4 Golden Globes (Best Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score) and 3 BAFTAs (Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing)

 

SYNOPSIS

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the cofounder who was later squeezed out of the business.

 

The Social Network follows the story of the creators of Facebook and the legal battles that stretched out over the course of several years in which Mark Zuckerberg is being sued by two brothers who claim that he stole their initial idea for ‘Harvard Connection’ and also his friend and Co-Founder of Facebook Eduardo Saverin and we witness how that relationship deteriorated leading them to this point of them coming face to face in a legal battle.

 

There’s still a small minority that haven’t checked out The Social Network, that I know of, due to the fact that in short to them the film ‘is about Facebook. How can that work?’ Well if you happen to have Aaron Sorkin adapting the script from Ben Mezrich’s ‘ The Accidental Billionaires’ book and have David Fincher brought in to helm the film, then you are onto a real winner here. Sorkin’s dialogue works a real treat here in the way the characters interact with one another, in particular the dialogue that Jesse Eisenberg has to deliver as Mark Zuckerberg in a way that plays to the actors strengths in what is definitely my favourite performance of his as a man so fixated with this creation and trying to figure out what how to make it grow into something, all the while being socially inadequate in interacting with others about less important things than The Facebook. Andrew Garfield is excellent as Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s best (and only) friend that puts the funding for Facebook together with his own money and we see how he gets isolated/frozen out towards the films end and how this relationship turns sour. Part of what begins to end that friendship is the introduction of Napster Founder Sean Parker entering the picture that mentors Zuckerberg somewhat into what to do next in order to take Facebook to the next level and Justin Timberlake does really well in a role that’s the most difficult of the three as he has to play not only a wild card individual but a man that Zuckerberg seen as an intellectual equal. Armie Hammer in this I find to still be his best performance(s) as the Winklevoss twins that take on Zuckerberg for ‘stealing’ their idea. Fincher does a terrific job directing the film and crafting an intriguing story that’s more interesting about a broken friendship than the creation of Facebook and it helps with the understated score provided from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that it blends well with this story of ambition, greed and betrayal work so well.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: At the 1 million members party, Saverin confronts Zuckerberg over his shares, realising that the new deal he signed allowed his shares in Facebook be diluted from 34% to 0.3% and thus tells him to ‘Lawyer up’. It’s also his final interaction with Sean Parker that seals this as my favourite scene in the film.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?’ – Mark Zuckerberg

DID YOU KNOW?: During one of the depositions, it is mentioned that the invention of Facebook made Mark Zuckerberg “the biggest thing on a campus that included nineteen Nobel Laureates, fifteen Pulitzer Prize winners, two future Olympians, and a movie star.” One of the lawyers then asks, “Who was the movie star?” and the response is, “Does it matter?” This movie star was, in fact, Natalie Portman, who was enrolled at Harvard from 1999 to 2003 and helped screenwriter Aaron Sorkin by providing him insider information about goings-on at Harvard at the time Facebook first appeared there.

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