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Betsy Sharkey's film pick of the week: 'The Social Network'

October 6, 2010 |  6:34 pm


Maybe it’s fitting that when I caught “The Social Network” at my local theater over the weekend, the chick in front of me was posting on Facebook throughout the movie. I know this because of the very recognizable icon on the front of her very bright iPhone that she kept accessing and the heated etiquette exchange we had just as the Harvard buff, blond, we-will-be-kings crewing Winklevoss twins entered the picture.

David Fincher’s incisive thriller is about the bloody battle over the ubiquitous site’s creation rights, and -- let's face it -- the film wouldn’t exist if Facebook hadn’t created a culture of young feathered friends like the annoying one in front of me. That would have been a serious cinematic loss.

Fincher has turned a business deal gone bad into an extraordinary cloak and dagger corporate espionage nail-biter with a nerd genius at its center. Aaron Sorkin’s script is razor sharp and 120-mph fast; Jesse Eisenberg’s vacant eyes and social shortcomings as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are mesmerizing to watch (you seriously wish someone would check for a pulse); Andrew Garfield is exceptional as Zuckerberg’s best (and only?) friend Eduardo Saverin.

But the real pulse-pounding (ours, not Mark's) comes in watching a new zeitgeist emerge before our eyes. Meanwhile, see it. But please save your Facebook posts for later.

--Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photo: Friends-turned-foes Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield, left) and Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) in "The Social Network." Credit: Columbia TriStar