Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Jesse Eisenberg stars in David Fincher’s Oscar-winning fictionalised telling of the tetchy story behind Facebook’s birth. Also starring Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara and Justin Timberlake.
David Fincher’s previous movie was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which deservedly won 3 Academy Awards and one of my favourites from 2008.
Now, Fincher’s first film of this decade sees him take charge of how Facebook, the world’s biggest social media company, was found – and the final product is a very, very impressive one indeed. Not only this, but you also don’t have to be on Facebook in order to be a little educated.
Adapted from the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal’ by Ben Mezrich, which was published only a year earlier, The Social Network concentrates on Harvard undergrad and processor expert Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) who, in 2003, starts work on a fresh notion that sooner or later will transform into the worldwide social network known as Facebook.
Under a decade later, he is one of the freshest magnates ever, but Mark finds that his extraordinary accomplishment leads to both individual and permissible difficulties when he finds himself on the getting end of two grievances, one concerning his previous pal (Andrew Garfield).
Jesse Eisenberg gives an excellent performance in his part as Mark Zuckerberg, the man who, aged only 19, becomes one of the biggest tycoons on the planet thanks to the invention of Facebook, only to find himself involved in personal and legal battles. Eisenberg suits his role really well, definitely makes the most of the time he has on the screen and this, for me, is the part that made him an actor to look out for.
Elsewhere, there are solid supporting performances to be had from Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake in their respective roles as Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker. Eduardo is Mark’s former friend and one of the co-founders of Facebook, while Sean is the inventor of Napster and the first president of Facebook.
For me, this is the breakthrough part for Andrew Garfield, while it’s Timberlake’s best performance of his career.
There is a decent performance to be had from Armie Hammer in his double role as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the two identical twin brothers who are suing Mark because they believe he has stolen their idea.
Also giving fine performances are Rooney Mara and Max Minghella in their respective parts as Erica Albright and Divya Narendra. Erica is the young woman who dumps Mark at the start of the movie, while Divya is Cameron and Tyler’s business partner.
The direction from Fincher is excellent because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a tense atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a terrific standard by Aaron Sorkin as he makes the movie really easy to follow.
The camera, music, sound and editing stand out best in terms of the technical aspects, because the camera makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense and dramatic moments well, which deservedly get the edge-of-the-seat status; the music is very enjoyable to listen to; the sound is excellent as you have to listen carefully; the film is edited to a brilliant effect.
The movie managed to win 3 Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), Best Original Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) and Best Film Editing (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall) and these were deserved, while the Academy also rightly nominated The Social Network for Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Cinematography (Jeff Cronenworth) and Best Sound Mixing (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten).
At the British Academy Film Awards, the movie won the prizes for Best Director (David Fincher), Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Editing (Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter), while it also got nominated for Best Film, Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg) and Best Supporting Actor (Andrew Garfield).
At the Golden Globes, The Social Network went away with 4 wins: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Original Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), while the Hollywood Foreign Press Association also nominated the film for Best Actor – Drama (Jesse Eisenberg) and Best Supporting Actor (Andrew Garfield).
Overall, The Social Network is a terrific fictionalised account of how Facebook was born. This works due to the very good performances from the cast, along with the direction, script, tension and technical aspects. One of the best films to have been made from this year and you will definitely learn a little here.