Movie 4: stars
Picture: 4 stars
Sound: 4 stars
Extras: 4 stars
The Social Network opens with a conversation between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara), and it's the perfect setup for a movie about a certain form of Internet interaction. Here, a gifted young man summons up all the brilliance of his mind for a magnificent verbal display, but the only thing he can actually get across is ineffectual anger wrapped in an obsession with the trivial and the banal. And from that wasted effort emerges the blueprint for Facebook.
Getting an analysis of social media into a first scene without a computer being present requires another brilliant mind — courtesy Aaron Sorkin. As with his earlier writing for Broadway and Hollywood (A Few Good Men) and TV (Sports Night, The West Wing), Sorkin involves deep, nuanced characters in spitfire exchanges reminiscent of classic screwball comedies while still bringing out the pathos of the human condition. Although the story of The Social Network — rejected nerd builds a concept into a company — is full of complex ideas instead of action, but Sorkin and director David Fincher make it not only understandable but thrilling.
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