On Friday I finally saw The Social Network. I worried throughout its formative weeks that I was building it up too much in my head, but it was brilliant. David Fincher's directing is fantastic; you have to work hard to keep up with the dialogue but in doing so you get so much out of it. It didn't patronise the audience by trying to slow things down or make it less 'talky', which I thought was great. You never lose interest for a second. If they'd wanted to they probably could have played up the wild side of rich and spoiled campus life even more, but as it was there was enough to entertain and balance out the intense lawsuit side of things, without skimming over any of the details of the case.
The casting was inspired. I have come across Jesse Eisenberg before and always thought of him as more of a comedy actor, and something of a wannabe Michael Cera, although I'm sure this is a very unfair assessment and I actually hate it when people are described this way, because they can't help it if they are similar to someone else-the media just love labels, as we all know, and it doesn't show much brainpower to just compare someone to someone already famous. I've had Adventureland on my Lovefilm list for a while but that one still hasn't gotten around to arriving. And weirdly he presented the MTV Video Music Awards this year. But he has definitely made his name as a bona fide actor now; he has great comic timing but that isn't what viewers of TSN will remember him for. He is insanely intelligent, it seems; I doubt he could have handled the role of Mark Zuckerberg if this weren't true. His character talks at a hundred miles an hour, tiring of those who can't keep up and belittling those who do not understand him. He is a strange character; you want desperately to like him but he is just so impenetrable and the way he treats his best friend and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is terrible. He completely does him over, but you feel that it was just because he just got swept along in the creation of what feels in the film like something of a monster, and became misguided by those more experienced than him (ie. Napster creator Sean Parker).
Andrew Garfield was superb as Saverin. This is the character you really like; loyal, trusting, honest and kind. He may have been the cash flow behind Facebook, and he always looked very suave, but he was never ostentatious or pretentious. You really felt for him as he was badly hurt by his friend's betrayal, which I got the impression was worse than the jeopardising of his fortune. I was an extra in Red Riding when Garfield played the title role of the young reporter, a performance which first made me take notice of him. As a result, I rented his previous drama Boy A, which made me realise that he really was set for big things. So I was really pleased when I heard about his role in TSN, and over the moon when it was announced that he's taking over from Tobey Maguire as the new Spiderman. He seems very lovely. I believe Emma Stone will be his Mary-Jane, which is good news too as she was ace in Superbad. On Thursday I'm also going to see Andrew in Never Let Me Go, screened at Leeds International Film Festival 2010 which I'm reporting on for Leeds Guide. I haven't yet seen the stupidly hyped Carey Mulligan in everything, so maybe I'll finally come round to her if I find that she lives up to her press.
Justin Timberlake shone as the charming, cocky and manipulative Sean Parker. I was really pleasantly surprised when I first saw him in a feature film in Alpha Dog; I suppose with him being an ex-Disney Club performing arts kid I shouldn't have been too shocked, but that's what happens when you only have a certain megastar ex-girlfriend's performance in a certain stinker called Crossroads to go off.
Anyway, as you can tell from all of these words dedicated to it, I loved The Social Network. It gives you a lot to think about. I love the end scene where Mark Zuckerberg survives the lawsuit and yet the only thing he still cares about is whether his ex-girlfriend will accept his friend request. If she accepted it, then he possibly gained one friend in the whole world again. How ironic. Amazing that he became the youngest ever billionaire; you never consider when you're faffing around on your free Facebook account the mega-bucks being pumped into it. Oh, and Armie Hammer was great as the Winklevoss twins; I wish I hadn't known when I watched it that it was the one actor playing both, to see whether or not I guessed. I think I might have recognised him from Gossip Girl or Desperate Housewives though, although I think from now on he should have his acting chops fully utilised and not just stuck in those kinds of TV roles as eye candy for women. Which he definitely is of course. And he possibly has the deepest voice I've ever heard in my life. Quite something.
The Social Network has created so much excitement in Hollywood which now opens the doors for so many more exciting things to come. I can't wait to see the heights Jesse's career will scale now, and whether he will surprise us and get himself a Hollywood girlfriend (I'd say a Kristen Stewart type, it would have been interesting if they'd paired up after Adventureland-and less painful for many tortured R-Patz fans). The next Spiderman is also something I'm pining for now, and it will be good to see what the Mr Trousersnake (surely he must have started that excruciating monicker himself?) JT will do next. Ok. Au revoir. I'm off to see whether I can crash the server in the street, Zuckerberg-style, with all the hits I get on this post.....
Have you seen The Social Network? What did you think?