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"The Social Network" Remains One Of The Best Films Of The 21st Century

I remember when "The Social Network" was released. I was a freshman in high school at the time, still reviewing movies on YouTube (though I can't find my initial review from my old page). I remember really liking it when I saw it. It was easily one of the best movies of that year (I think it was #4 on my list that year. Remember, I was dumb in high school), but the film stuck with me. I ended up watching it again a few months later and liked it even more. Having seen it 5-6 times since its initial release, this movie somehow still gets better upon rewatch. The term "classic" gets thrown around too often when discussing movies. Any film nominated for an Oscar or making a billion dollars worldwide somehow finds itself in "classic" territory. We overuse the phrase, but "The Social Network" is truly a classic. It's the kind of movie that the Academy Awards will celebrate in 2060 to commemorate its 50th anniversary. It will have that kind of staying power, which is ironic considering the Oscars completely fucked this movie out of the best director and best picture awards that it clearly deserved. 

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Have y'all ever seen Citizen Kane? Most film fans probably were forced to watch it at some point. I was in college when I had to see it for a film course I was taking at the time (I did do some studying in college). It was…fine. I completely understand why it's regarded by many as one of the best, if not the best, films of all-time, but it felt pretty hollow to me. But it's a universally acclaimed rise and fall story that people still rave about. I bring this up because "The Social Network" is the closest thing we've had in modern cinema to "Citizen Kane." It is a rare Hollywood film where everyone involved didn't miss. David Fincher's directional style has always been slick and stylish, but he's never been better than he is here. The screenplay here by Aaron Sorkin is a masterpiece. It's him and his snappy dialogue at its absolute best. Even with the dialogue being as inspiring (and, at points, laugh-out-loud hilarious) as it is, an aura of intensity radiates off of this movie. It always feels like someone in this movie is on the verge of a meltdown. Every conversation feels important and crucial, which is a huge reason why Andrew Garfield's blowup at the end of the movie works as well as it does.

I love how random this cast is. Sure, you had people like Dakota Johnson, who had a small part in here before she really blew up, but the three main actors all are such incredible chemistry. Jesse Eisenberg was viewed by many at the time as just a Michael Cera clone. This was the project where he showed he could be an incredible actor. This movie came out just after Andrew Garfield was announced as Spider-Man. He was up and coming, but this movie made him a star. It's a travesty he didn't get an Oscar nomination for this. Also, I know people have opinions about Justin Timberlake, but he's really good in this. He may not be making an accurate impression of Sean Parker, but you totally buy him as a smarmy dick. His character is the least developed of the three main leads, but he's a good antagonist.

In the grand scheme of things, 2010 was not that long ago, yet "The Social Network" still feels like a movie that couldn't exist today. First, Mark Zuckerberg probably has the power to destroy anyone who attempts to write a negative piece about him. But this was an entirely apolitical film. It was void of action or any shoehorned message. It told a story. It's also a prime example of how there's no such thing as an "unnecessary" film. People laughed when it was announced they were doing a Facebook film. Who's laughing now? This film getting snubbed for the major awards at the Oscars only future enhanced this movie's legacy. It's cool to love this film. In fact, does anyone dislike this movie? This thing came out in the heart of the internet age, and people still universally praised it, and rightfully so. Are there films in my lifetime that I enjoy more personally? Yes, but I don't know if there's a better Hollywood drama in my lifetime than "The Social Network."