RELEASED: 15th October 2010
DIRECTOR: David Fincher
CAST: 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
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $224.9m
AWARDS: 3 Academy Awards (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)
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.
The Social Network marked David Fincher’s first film last decade, and while it wasn’t his last, for me it was definitely his best. Released in 2010, the film is an adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s novel The Accidental Billionaires, portraying the founding of social networking website Facebook and the lawsuits that followed. I can still remember the initial reaction leading up to the films release was one of skepticism, particularly amongst casual film viewers because it was a film about Facebook, how the hell could that be entertaining? But having The West Wing creator adapting the screenplay and having David Fincher helm the film made it appear a winner on paper and that proved to be the case on the big screen too, with the film reaping multiple awards during awards season, with it’s screenplay, editing and score. The screenplay from Aaron Sorkin is arguably the best screenplay from last decade, with the two-hour runtime making the mesmerising dialogue making this film about a computer programmer feel like an absolute breeze. The film is wonderfully edited by Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, and I like how the film can jump between different lawsuits whilst going back to the past, making it transition well that the viewer never gets lost at where they’re at. Another element I really loved about it was the tremendous award-winning score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, blending effortlessly within the film’s themes of ambition, greed and betrayal. The ‘In Motion’ track is one of my favourite film compositions from the last decade. David Fincher’s direction showcases why he’s one of the best technical directors out there, with the film also being more about a friendship being ripped to shreds rather than the overall creation of Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg arguably gives his best performance to date with his performance as Mark Zuckerberg, delivering the dialogue from Sorkin effortlessly to his strengths as a man fixated with his creation and trying to figure out how to make it grow into something more, all the while being socially inadequate in how he should interact with others about less important things than Facebook. Andrew Garfield is also fantastic as Eduardo Saverin, Mark’s best (and only) friend that puts up his own money to get Facebook up and running, and personality wise is just the polar opposite of Mark. What starts to put a strain on the friendship and an expiration date on it was the involvement of Sean Parker, founder of Napster, that looks to mentor Zuckerberg’s and help his ambition in how to grow Facebook to be bigger than it is, whilst getting himself into the company in the process, and I thought Justin Timberlake played the role really well. Another performance I really enjoyed was Armie Hammer playing the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, who believe that Mark Zuckerberg stole their ‘Harvard Connection’ in making Facebook.
FAVOURITE SCENE: At the one 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 tells him to ‘Lawyer up’. It’s also his final interaction with Sean Parker that seals this as my favourite scene in the film. Andrew Garfield is great in this scene.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “You better lawyer up asshole, because I’m not coming back for 30%, I’m coming back for everything!” – Eduardo Saverin
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.