• It’s a masterpiece that may combine the best work of both David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin
  • Hard to top Travers: “The Social Network lights up a dim movie sky with flares of startling brilliance. Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven, Zodiac) puts his visual mastery to work on the verbal pyrotechnics in the dynamite, dick-swinging script by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), and they both do the best and ballsiest work of their careers. The Social Network gets you drunk on movies again. It deserves to go viral.”
  • From the opening you know you’re watching something special. Fincher paints the mise-en-scene so well with his patented darkness (he may have to take the mantle of the master of darkness from Gordon Willis), green/yellow lighting—the dialogue is fire—there are tiny flaws “I could do without the Stairmaster line” going as broad as that— apparently the opening dialogue scene was shot in 99 takes—a Fincher trademark—such a perfectionist
  • It’s our Citizen Kane– told in a creative flashback narrative, genius/billionaire of our times, layered, dark
  • The case for it being Fincher’s best (it’s this or Fight Club I believe) is that it’s as procedurally formal as Zodiac (hmm), as “of our times” as Fight Club, and has an ending as devastating as Seven
  • Shakespearian weight to these characters, the setting—the morality play
  • 2.5 scenes (including that jaw-dropping opening) with Rooney Mara and it’s a star-maker… Eisenberg was already established but this is his best, Garfield is mesmerizing, Armie Hammer became a star, too
  • Trent Rezner’s score is masterful- it’s the theme is only used a few times but it’s one of the best scores of the decade
  • A medication on jealousy
  • The case against it being Fincher’s best is that you’re just in the throes of the narrative machine at work for 10-15 minute stretches a few times without really admiring (too much) what’s in front of you visually—this is getting really nit-picky though and only worthwhile when making the distinction between like this and In the Mood for Love or Tree of Life on the masterpiece level
  • Garfield gives us the big final scene though I think I’m going with Eisenberg who has the slightly better achievement- neither are the wrong answer— Garfield’s little dance over to him at the Jewish party and then saying “I’m buying” with those eyes—it’s a remarkably sympathetic character—and then he tears your heart out at the ambush at the end
  • One of the best 10 screenplays in the artform’s history- Chinatown, Casablanca, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Sunset Boulevard, Seventh Seal—a few others
  • Lines could go on forever “You would’ve invented facebook” I’m 6’5 220 lbs and there are two of me”—the entire “do I have your full attention” scene—“I was your only friend”
  • Fincher is a ridiculously good editor- one of the best we have and the Regatta scene, paired with music and stunning photography is just him showing that skill off without Sorkin at all—but his largest overall achievement in the film is the mise-en-scene specifically the lighting. It’s just very rare in cinema’s history that an auteur/director make his movies so specifically unique to look at in every frame and so beautiful. It’s unmistakably a fincher film from the lighting
  • Timberlake is revelation and the film is off again- he’s intoxicatingly good. It’s not him though, and as much as I like the cast it’s not the cast—it’s Fincher—he made Ben Affleck amazing in Gone Girl
  • The dialogue makes for a chess match and a tennis match simultaneously. Sorkin is taking us in and out of a series of conversations, testimonies in the larger structure—and then within the scenes the verbal wit is without a peer
  • Another show-off editing for Fincher is Timberlake’s dinner montage
  • “the ambush”- lighting as mise-en-scene as Fincher shoots Garfield low- it’s Welles
  • I might change the ending with the Beatles song—“baby you’re a rich man”—the Beatles are notoriously hard to get and it’s a coup—but I’d go back to Rezner’s notes like the opening and the ambush—the ambush scene is one of the best of the decades because of the lighting, Garfield, Sorkin and Rezner
  • A masterpiece