“The Social Network” Review

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s only been in theaters for a weekend, but David Fincher’s “Facebook Film” has already been saddled with the impossibly lofty adjective of “generation-defining”.  While I’m not so sure that a movie about the success story of the world’s youngest billionaire is relatable enough to be considered generation-defining in the way that, say, The Breakfast Club was, that doesn’t make The Social Network any less of a brilliant piece of filmmaking.  And it truly is brilliant, possibly one of the year’s very best films; Aaron Sorkin’s crackling script delivers some of the best and most instantly-quotable lines of dialogue of any film released in the past decade (“every creation myth needs a devil”), and the young cast is uniformly stellar.  Jesse Eisenberg finally carries a major league film, and absolutely kills.  His Mark Zuckerberg is perfectly cold, socially awkward, and ambitious, but still strangely magnetic.  You can’t take your eyes off of him, which any actor lesser than Eisenberg wouldn’t have been able to pull off.  Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake are also top-notch here (and likely on their way to Oscar nominations, along with Eisenberg), as are Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara, and Brenda Song, finally breaking away from Disney Channel in spectacular fashion.

The film does raise a lot of timely questions about the role of technology, the concept of intellectual theft, and privacy in our increasingly digitalized world (due in no small part to Zuckerberg’s work), though at it’s heart it’s really a story about friendship, ambition, and the need to be liked/loved/included.  Now who can’t relate to that?  A

Rooney Mara Scores “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Lead

August 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

In what surely must be the most talked-about casting search in recent years, the lead for David Fincher‘s upcoming remake of the Swedish film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (itself an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s worldwide literary phenomenon) was finally chosen: Rooney Mara, a relative newcomer who can be seen this fall in Fincher’s The Social Network, beat out stars like Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Kristen Stewart and Evan Rachel Wood to win the coveted role of hacker Lisbeth Sanders.

I know next to nothing about this film series, but the Swedish films (there are 3 total in the series) were both critical and commercial successes and there’s every reason to expect the American version to have the same luck.  I haven’t seen any of Mara’s work, but Fincher obviously saw something special in her while working on The Social Network (and I’m inclined to trust his judgment).

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