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Oscar Countdown, Day 9: The Social Network

Posted on the 26 February 2011 by Cinefilles @cinefilles

Counting down the hours until Hollywood's most golden of awards galas? So are we! Semi-obsessively. Join us at noon for the next ten too-long days as we mentally prep our Oscar pool ballots and give each of this year's Best Picture nominees a once over and half.
Oscar Countdown, Day 9: The Social NetworkPhoto: allmoviephoto.com

THE SOCIAL NETWORK
THE RUNDOWN: Out of break-up anger, Harvard U student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) decides to create FaceMash with the help of his best bud Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield): a site dedicated to rating the hotness of the girls on campus. While the site leads him to academic probation, it also leads him to twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and their pal Divya Narendra (Max Minghella), who want to create the Harvard Connection, a website connecting Harvard students. That night, Zuckerberg brings the idea of The Facebook to Saverin, which is pretty much the same thing as the Harvard Connection with a few features added. The site's popularity explodes and with the help/setback of Napster co-founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and a substantial investment, Facebook is a step closer to what we know it as today. But when Saverin's shares of the company are diluted, Saverin de-friends Zuckerberg in the form of a lawsuit. Oh, and remember the Winklevoss twins? They're taking up the legal fight too.
WHY IT'S GOLDEN: The Social Network is Facebook embodied. And not just in the sense that it tells the story of how that particular website turned "friend" into a verb and made creeping in on someone's personal business way too convenient. I'm talking about the fact that, just like the interwebs version of a partially-filled out address book, when you first heard about it, you totally wanted to boycott its lame-ass. Then after hearing your IRL friends go on about it like they did about JTT six years prior, you forced yourself to join/watch it. The rest is totally obsessive history. But unlike your unhealthy addiction to Farmville, you really shouldn't feel bad for uh, liking, The Social Network. AT ALL. I mean, even if you took out the awesome acting (Jesse Eisenberg! Andrew Garfield! JT Timberlake!), badass directing (David Fincher is Tyler Durden), surreal score (Trent Reznor!?) and effortless editing, you'd still have a wicked-cool movie, thanks to the quick-witted, present-without-being-pretentious script courtesy of Aaron Sorkin (West Wing). This has to be the most zeitgeist-y movie of the decade as it perfectly encapsulates the anti-social social movement that is the bread and butter of countless BBM-addicted co-eds and computer screen queens everywhere. - Emily
WHY IT'S NOT: If you've seen the trailer, you already know the story. And if you didn't know the story, all the hype about it before the film came out gives you more than enough. By the time I saw the film, I was tired of the constant buzz about Facebook. It's also tough not to watch the film waiting for each piece of the predictable puzzle to play out, which both slows the film down and makes it so less entertaining. The outcome of the whole mess is ineffectual. Also, I know it's a film based on reality and I don't actually know Mark Zuckerberg but did Eisenberg really have to play him out to be such an ass? Accurate or inaccurate, entertaining or not, it's pretty harsh. - Michelle
THE FINAL VERDICT: This is the only movie that has a real chance of beating out the odds-on favorite (The King's Speech) due to the fact that it's near-universally adored. The problem is the small percentage that doesn't want to be faux BFFs with it - older folks who shudder at the mention of their grandkids poking their friends - makes up a big part of the Academy. We've seen the edgy modern classic (Pulp Fiction!) lose out to the re-heated heartwarmer (Forrest Gump!) one too many times for a reason. But then again, The Hurt Locker did win last year.
Check out Emily's original review here! Tomorrow: The King's Speech!

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