Posted by: greercn | October 13, 2010

The Social Network

This is one of the very best movies I have ever seen. It zooms immediately into my top ten, which has hardly anything in it made after 1972 and will appreciate the modern addition.

It’s deeply affecting, genuinely profound, beautifully written and visually stunning. It is a true story of outsiders taking on insiders and changing how we relate to each other – for better and for worse.

As a geek success story, it captures the energy of being an obsessed outsider and prevailing against the odds. Jesse Eisenberg (“Zombieland” and “The Squid and the Whale”) plays Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook. He acts his role with a profound Asperger’s syndrome-based zeal.

Mark is at Harvard and alienates his girlfriend in the opening scene. Most of us would sulk and find someone else when discarded. Mark decides to rate every girl on campus, hacking into the house networks and proving you cannot ever underestimate public taste enough. He gets 22,000 hits in hours, as a reward for his petty act of revenge against women.

The story rivets you. Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin provides cash and insight into insiders. I suspect his role in setting up Facebook is underplayed here as there must have been someone there who truly understood the allure of Harvard’s most exclusive clubs, closed to Mark but open to Eduardo. Clearly, Eduardo opened doors Mark would have found shut to him.

One question is answered that I have wondered about. Some people hate Facebook – I love it – and they say it goes against the established rules of computer sites, not being intuitive. Well, here’s the kicker. It’s not meant to be intuitive. It’s meant to echo the exclusive Ivy League clubs. Do you feel special, as a Facebook member, yet?

The entire film oozes warmth and understanding for the things people say when they feel they are outside of society. It gets us, as outsiders and applauds us. David Fincher deserves credit for his excellent direction.

There is so much here to cherish. Mark takes on the Winklevoss twins, played by Armie Hammer.  They have an idea about linking exclusive clubs at Harvard. Mark has already seen this and decides to take on the world, putting all of us into an exclusive club. He has vision.

Justin Timberlake plays a glorious Sean Parker, Napster’s inventor, as a fellow geek with crucial social skills lacked by Mark. But each awkward, tiptoed moment is special.

I declare many interests. My brothers were the stars of my family and both rated far more highly than me in the order of things. I was the oldest, but “only” a girl. I have no bitterness about this reality. I adore both my brothers. But they went to Harvard, paid for by my parents and I went to McGill, in Montreal, on a scholarship.

So I know a little about Harvard from visiting my brothers. This movie captures the exclusivity of making it into the top league and you will feel that you are there. The Stratford Picture House audience – there on a sold-out freebie for members – stayed unusually quiet. They were silent and reverential. Even the usual glow of mobile phones was absent.

Just go see it. Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue sparkles above his “West Wing” weight. It’s a gorgeous and iconic movie, taking you back to what movies are meant to be. You’ll feel you are being spoken to personally. You will love it. I smell Oscar nominations, for everyone in it and all connected with it. And for all their friends.

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