From acclaimed director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), and writer Aaron Sorkin, (West Wing) comes The Social Network, the story of Facebook’s rise from a Harvard dorm room to 500 million computers around the world. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake who along with Sorkin’s script deliver one the best movies of the year.

The story follows the inventor of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg from the early days of Facebook’s inception to the subsequent double lawsuit filed against him by his best (and maybe only) friend Eduardo and a pair of twins who claimed to be the inventor’s of Facebook, an idea they claim Zuckerberg stole. The drama of The Social Network lies within how Zucerberg conducts himself in relations to Facebook and also his friends and peers. The film certainly doesn’t try and excuse some of Zuckerberg’s unfortunate choices throughout the film and establishes him not as a hero, but as a human being who makes good and poor choices.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg perfectly by showing him as an introvert with a sort of constant crankiness towards the people around him, viewing them only by how they can help him. Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the inventor of Napster who convinced Zuckerberg to bring his company to California. Sean Parker is the complete opposite of Zuckerberg and Timberlake shows true acting skill by making the audience both love him and hate him at the same time. He seems extremely likeable in the way he acts, but his actions label him as a pretty bad guy.

The empathetic backbone of the movie rests on Andrew Garfield who plays Zuckerberg’s friend and business partner who was forced out of the company rather brutally by Parker and Zuckerberg. Garfield (who just landed the role of Spider-man in the upcoming reboot) gives the audience someone to sympathize with and buzz is already brewing of a Academy Award nomination come February.

In fact, The Social Network should collect multiple Oscar nods come February including directing, writing, best film, and acting for the three main actors.

The three main performances along with a brilliantly devised script is really what moves the film and provides solid entertainment throughout. It’s so seamlessly but together that it doesn’t appear to try and be a masterpiece as perhaps Inception did earlier in the year. At one point in the movie Bill Gates comes to Harvard to hold a speech. And at no point did I suspect it wasn’t the actual Bill Gates on screen. Only after I got home did I realize that they had in fact used an actor.

The Social Network is simply just a fine piece of cinema that doesn’t rely on high action or high concepts to make it exciting. The scenes of Mark Zuckenberg’s computer programming are made as thrilling as an action pumped high-speed pursuit. In the end Fincher gives us the interesting story of Facebook told in a seamlessly brilliant manner. The film is brilliant, but doesn’t try to be. 

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