Friday, October 1, 2010

Facebook Me

I remember when I first heard that there was going to be a movie about Facebook, (And I love that spell check still doesn't think that facebook is a word.  There is actually a bit about that in the movie if you watch closely) I thought that a movie about facebook would be a ridiculous idea.  I mean you might as well have Zach Snyder (director of 300 and Watchmen) direct a kids' movie!  (Oh, wait.)

Then I began to hear a little bit more about it.  I heard that David Fincher's name was attached.  He is one of five directors working today that I will go see anything that he does.  (Another future post?)  Then I heard that Aaron Sorkin would be writing.  (He's got a nice cameo by the way.  And the script is clearly his.  You West Wing fans, and Sports Night [What What!], will really enjoy it.)  At that point I was incredibly intrigued.

Then I began to hear what the movie would be about, and I realized that this wasn't so much a movie based on facebook the website as it was a movie about what went into the making of facebook, which honestly, is a movie about our society today, our obsessions, who we are, what we want from the internet, and the type of person you have to be to recognize those needs, obsessions, and wants, and then deliver them to us.

This movie is fascinating.  It is a character study first and foremost.  Mark Zuckerberg, in the film, is an intriguing character.  He is portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg with great results.  I have heard Eisenberg referred to as a Michael Cera type actor, but the depth that Eisenberg brings to this role outweighs anything that Cera has done to date (which, as much as I enjoyed Arrested Development, is really just varying versions of George Michael.)  The film seems to make a case (although not in an obvious or heavy handed way, but the signs are there if you care to look for them) that Zuckerberg has Asperger's.  I have no idea if he actually does, but I don't doubt at all the film meant for those signs to be there, despite not coming right out and saying it.  While Zuckerberg definitely doesn't come off as a hero in the film, and is definitely portrayed somewhat as an asshole, he is also the protagonist of the film, and you can't help but root for him and find him likable (at the same time you think, "wow, what an asshole.")  This is due, in large part, to the outstanding job that Eisenberg does in portraying him.

Speaking of great acting performances, Justin Timberlake steals every single scene that he is in.  He is phenomenal as creator Sean Parker.  I would be shocked if he doesn't recieve at least a nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and I wouldn't be shocked at all if he somehow manages to win.  After all, Mo'Nique is an Oscar winner now, why not Justin Timberlake?  But seriously, he is unbelievable.  I had been impressed with him in small roles prior to this (most notably in Black Snake Moan) but he blew me away with this performance.

David Fincher was as incredible as you would expect.  His work is flawless and phenomenal, and the texture, presence, and depth that he is able to add with his visuals is beyond reproach.  He is simply one of the best directors working today.

And, as I mentioned earlier, the screenplay is vintage Sorkin.  No one writes dialogue like Aaron, and no one makes talking sound as good.  If only the real world sounded like it does in Sorkin's mind.  Alas, we will have to settle for the complete series of Sports Night and West Wing, and movies such as this.

In a year where Hot Tub Time Machine has a legitimate shot to make my Top Ten (seriously, this year has been terrible for film so far), I am glad that there is finally an actual outstanding movie to recommend (along with Toy Story 3 and Inception, everything else this year has been, at best, okay).

Until Next Time, Go see this film, and then I'll see you on Facebook.


  1. Interesting review, I do look forward to checking out this movie. Totally agree that this year for the most part has been a bad year for film. I'm hoping a couple that come out towards the end of the year will stand out..but guess you never can tell.

  2. i agree that it's not really about facebook. it's about all of us. to some extent its a biopic (which i tend to hate), but it is bigger than even that.

    eisenberg and cera are worlds apart. what they have in common is they both look like geeks. that's all.

    i didn't think about the asperger's, but i did think eisenberg was playing the kind of character than nicholson and dicaprio are so good at, which is someone with a mental disorder of sorts. good point.

    i'm glad you're recognizing timberlake's genius. a lot of people are giving him crap because he hasn't come out with an album since futuresex lovesounds. i'll be the first person to get behind a new timberlake album, but his acting has been phenomenal. i also found it interesting that a grammy award winning musician played a character that all grammy award winning musicians are supposedly pissed at. i would love it if you wrote a whole blog on that!