Although I was a bit devastated that David Fincher's (Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) The Social Network didn't do the rounds at TIFF this year, it was just as rewarding attending an advanced screening of it and I can say that it very much lives up to the hype surrounding it.
The story criss-crosses different stages of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's hands-on and meticulous involvement in the crafting of the world's favourite social networking website up to his documented legal battles over the legitimacy of his title as its Founder. Turning Facebook into the $25 billion empire that it is today did not come without its share of Drama. The limits of true friendship and loyalty are put to the most rigorous test when fortune divides best friends Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). Zuckerberg's integrity also is challenged further with wealthy twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence) fighting for an entitlement to the fortune in having commissioned him to assist in the creation of a project which wound up spiraling and veering off into the opus of Facebook as we know it.
Asides from being an obvious genius, a detailed portrait of Zuckerberg is painted through some v. powerful performances from The Social Network's supporting cast. For one, superstar Justin Timberlake truly is acting here as the arrogant and perhaps ruthless founder of Napster, Sean Parker, who incites further the ambition within Zuckerberg yet also turning him to the dark-side as his business Mentor. Ex-girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara) draws a picture of his social ineptness and lack of maturity, reminding us that despite being an empire maker, he is still a Boy. Saverin shows us the ugly side of success, yet at the same time enables us to see Zuckerberg's relentless dedication; Garfield has a bright future ahead of him clearly. Eisenberg though, simply is outstanding in what will be known as his breakthrough performance, and Fincher extracts from him a thoroughly committed and engaging performance heads and shoulders above any other time I've seen him. Never for a moment are we disinterested in the at times despicable Hero. All of this really goes back full circle to what a powerful Director Fincher truly is.
The irony of The Social Network is that Facebook truly brought the world together, yet at the same time divided those so deeply attached to it. The Sony Pictures film hits theatres Friday, October 1, 2010. One of the year's best. Grade: A