Oscar spotlight on ‘The Social Network’: we “like” it

Kristin Hugo

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Justin Timberlake, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network." (Courtesy of Merrick Morton/MCT)

I was afraid that “The Social Network” (now available on DVD and Blu-Ray) would be just another documentary leeching off of the popularity of the latest big thing. Instead, the film has story substance and character development, although it’s not accurate enough to be a documentary.

The film, which has been nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, is a dark psychological drama loosely based on the court case involving the creation of Facebook, and the people who were involved with its inception.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg, who is nominated for Best Actor, as a socially-awkward genius, while his best friend Eduardo Saverin is played by Andrew Garfield.  Justin Timerlake also joins the cast as Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster.

Interestingly enough, there is no antagonist in the film. The characters are simply flawed human beings caught in a complicated controversy. David Fincher (nominated for Best Director) allows the viewer to decide who to blame.

Still, the portrayals of both the story and the characters aren’t accurate enough to be fair. For example, it’s implied that Saverin is kicked out of the company because Zuckerburg is corrupted by Parker. In reality, Saverin was lagging on his duties and was making it hard for Zuckerburg to progress the company, putting Zuckerburg in a hard position.

Overall, “The Social Network” is an intense film that would appeal to a wide audience. Whether you’re a Facebook junkie or not, the film illustrates how strong personalities can clash, and holds true to the film’s tag: you can’t make something huge without making a few enemies.

**** out of five stars