Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Social Network

I finally watched The Social Network yesterday. I saw it on a plane so maybe not the best of conditions to appreciate the film, but I was none the less quite unimpressed by it. The acting is very good (a surprisingly deft Justin Timberlake stands out from the pack) and the script is talky and fast but this is actually a pretty boring story about a bunch of spoiled, good looking rich kids at Harvard trying to become even richer. It's hard for me to get invested in these kind of wankers and watching them sitting around typing on computers or giving testimony in a deposition is extremely dull stuff. The director David Fincher reins in his trademark visual flair and although Trent Reznor does the score it's not so you'd notice. There isn't much dramatic tension in the story of the creation of Facebook and what tension there is in the script seems forced and false. The attempts at humour were embarrassingly heavy handed (if you ask me humour has always been Aaron Sorkin's Waterloo) and if it hadn't been for the exceptionally fine work from all the young cast I would have stopped watching.
I have a theory about why The Social Network and not Winter's Bone is winning all the awards this year when for me Winter's Bone is the superior film. Americans, I feel, like to watch films about winners, not losers, and Winter's Bone is the story of a bunch of meth cooking hillbillies scrabbling to survive, whereas The Social Network is the story of millionaires who become billionaires, which, of course, is the true American dream.