10 reasons The Social Network is every bit as good as it thinks it is

Wednesday October 13th 2010


After unloading a barrage of self-important (albeit amazing) posters and trailers onto the internet in the months before its release, it didn’t seem entirely unlikely that The Social Network‘s total self-assurance would turn into another Inception.

Luckily, TSN actually has the awesomeness to back up the arrogance. Here’s why:

1

FINCHER’S ON FORM
I love David Fincher in all of his glorious forms (Benjamin Button FTW!) but where some of his films don’t necessarily feel like full-on Fincher, The Social Network is D-Finch on tap. Put it in a double bill with Zodiac and I might just cry myself to sleep with amazing.

2

SORKIN FINALLY MAKES SENSE
If you’ve seen Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or Charlie Wilson’s War, you’ll know that – believe it or not – Aaron Sorkin’s writing style isn’t right for everything. But in communicating the cold, calculating entitlement of Harvard’s social elite, it’s bang fucking on.

3

TIMBERLAKE IS LAURENCE OLIVIER NOW APPARENTLY
I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but at some point in the last two years Justin Timberlake became the world’s greatest actor. His performance here is not only ‘a revelation’ but it also allowed me to make THE WORLD’S GREATEST .GIF. If this is anything to go by, bring on Yogi Bear.

4

EISENBERG PROVES HIS WORTH
It’s a shame that the only way people seem to be capable of complimenting Jesse Eisenberg is by saying that he’s ‘so much better than Michael Cera’. In actual fact, their typical roles were never really interchangeable (Eisenberg’s always had a bit more ‘edge’) and his performance as Facebook founder-cum-bastard Mark Zuckerberg is a world apart. Props.

5

GARFIELD IS THE FUTURE
I almost wish he wasn’t doing Spider-man and the inevitable sequels so he’d have more time to do movies like this and less risk of winding up like Tobey Maguire.

6

IT’S NOT IMPENETRABLE, IT’S NOT PATRONISING 
There’s a temptation with movies involving technology to either insert masses of Computer Nerd Speak as a sort of joke about how innately foreign technology is, to simplify everything down until you end up with beeping keyboards, massive SEND buttons and ‘You’ve Got Mail’ sound effects. The Social Network strikes a perfect balance, elegantly demonstrating the significance of technology within the story without using it as a substitute for actual drama.

7

THE WINKLEVI ARE AWESOME
A lot of people have been getting excited about the fact that both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are played by one actor, Armie Hammer, by having his face digitally added to a stand-in. Obviously, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking work, but what’s amazing here is that it’s not played for ZOMG Leaves of Grass-style reactions. In fact, like a lot of people, I assumed they were played by twins until I was told otherwise. Oscar’s in the post.

8

REZNOR AND ROSS, THEIR SCORE IS THE BOSS
Finchy set the bar high for electronica film scores with Fight Club, but if possible, The Social Network‘s soundtrack is even better. Watch the first party scene and tell me I’m wrong.

9

IT’S YET ANOTHER MASTERPIECE OF DIGITAL FILMMAKING
Benjamin Button was Fincher’s first fully-digital film (Zodiac was about 95% – flaky bastard) and it looked almost perfect. Luckily, The Social Network looks actually perfect, with an incredible subdued colour palette that still looks crisp as anything. Catch it in 4K for the full effect.

10

IT’S NOT ABOUT FACEBOOK
Under less assured hands, The Social Network could have easily ended up being ‘the Facebook movie’ that so many boring broadsheet columnists seem to think it is. Instead, if you’ll allow me to be so pretentious, its a generation-defining study of communication, social insecurity and – most importantly – power.

Now enough with the sincerity, I’ve got funny captions to write.