Over the past few months a lot of us have been wondering if David Fincher’s upcoming film, The Social Network will be any good. The trailers that have been released look amazing, slightly over the top in certain spots, but for the most part they’re great. This week, the first review has arrived and in my best football-announcer-voice – it’s good!
Scott Foundas was the first person to screen Fincher’s latest feature and here’s an excerpt from his review:
The writing is razor-sharp and rarely makes a wrong step, compressing a time-shifting, multi-character narrative into two lean hours, and, perhaps most impressively, digests its big ideas into the kind of rapid-fire yet plausible dialogue that sounds like what hyper computer geeks might actually say (or at least wish they did): Quentin Tarantino crossed with Bill Gates.
Consider the movie’s opening—a soon-to-be-classic breakup scene in which soon-to-be Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) verbally machine-guns his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara) with a rant about the difficulty of distinguishing oneself “in a crowd of people who all got 1600 on their SATs.” From there it’s on to his conflicted feelings about that peculiar Harvard institution known as “final clubs,” elite secret societies that, sops to diversity notwithstanding, remain decidedly inhospitable to monomaniacal, borderline Asperger’s cases like Zuckerberg. As he holds forth, his face contorted into a tightly focused stare, looking through Erica rather than at her, she tries to keep up. “Dating you is like dating a Stairmaster,” she laments before delivering the delicious coup de grace: “Listen. You’re going to be successful and rich, but you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a geek. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”
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.
A Tarantino comparison thrown in with The Great Gatsby is a powerful way to kick off some buzz for this movie. If I wasn’t already interested in seeing it before, I’m REALLY interested now. One review can’t make or break a film because there’s always a difference of opinion. In this case, Fincher’s latest work has gained this critic’s respect but will it earn the same from the general public?
Do you think The Social Network will live up to the hype? Are you interested in seeing the film?