500 Million Friends ? One Academy Award?


It?s not enough that Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest kids on earth. The movie about his Facebook phenomena is tagged for top honors in Hollywood.

The Social Network movie follows Mark Zuckerberg?s development of what has become a culture-changing Internet hit.

The plot begins with a computer-geek kind of college kid?s idea, and winds its way through friendships made and lost, court cases tried and settled, and climaxes in a billion dollar commercial success.

Accolades are coming from all corners of the film critic industry. The Mark Zuckerberg look-alike couldn?t be more spot on.

Quirks, blemishes, exuberant spontaneity, and mental agility as played by Jesse Eisenberg bring Zuckerberg?s bigger-than-life persona to the large screen.

Between them, the two ?bergs? make for a Best Actor nomination. At least that is what the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures thinks.

As for what the real Zuckerberg thinks, he said about the film depicting him and his rise to fame and fortune: ?Well, they got the tee shirts right.?

The Palm Springs International Film Festival gave the entire cast a high score. The Festival presented the Ensemble Performance award to Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Rooney Mara. Festival chairman Harold Matzner said. ?The Social Network combines a theme that defines our time with performances that redefine acting for the screen.?

Armie Hammer as Winklevoss Twins

Armie Hammer doubled as the twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Harvard classmates of Zuckerberg who accused him of, and took him to court for stealing their idea. They won an alleged $65 million, but lost their bid for an Olympic Rowing championship. Their impersonator, Hammer garnered the Toronto Film Critics Association award for best supporting actor, or should we say actors.

The movie won the Florida Film Critics Circle award for best picture, best director (David Fincher), and best adapted screenplay (Aaron Sorkin). It is not surprising that Rolling Stone concurs; this is right up their alley, but even the BBC is banging the drum for The Social Network, along with the Wall Street Journal whose main interest is probably related to the stock tie-in, albeit Facebook is a privately held company.

Actors Garfield and Eisenberg take a time out

Time Magazine likened the story to a tragic Greek myth involving loyalty, class, jealousy, and betrayal. In that vein, Andrew Garfield played Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg?s best and long-suffering college friend who was the original investor and CFO of their company, but sued Zuckerberg, as did the twins, claiming Zuckerberg diminished his stake in the company they founded.

Saverin reportedly received a $1.1 billion settlement and now has five percent interest in Facebook. Rumors abound as to his current whereabouts. Justin Timberlake can be blamed for splitting the Saverin and Zuckerberg partnership apart, or at least the character he plays in the movie, Sean Parker, has been cited.

The character of Parker, who co-founded Napster and became President of Facebook, was stretched for dramatic effect. Fincher says:

It doesn’t matter who Sean Parker is; this character of Zuckerberg has to see him as this ? as the guy who has it wired.

Justin Timberlake, although winner of multiple Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, lead singer of ?N Sync, and responsible for 7 million record sales of a solo debut album, hasn?t been marked for an award related to his performance in the film, however.

However, critics are lining up to proclaim The Social Network the best picture of 2010. Included in those praising the film are the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the Black Film Critics Circle, a new organization intended to maintain the integrity of a true critics organization and to rraise awareness of the significance of black film and black film history as a critical part of film culture. Just where The Social Network fits that criteria, I can?t say, but awards from any corner are always appreciated.

Online Critics Society Awards listed The Social Network in six different categories, including best editing. They put the film up against several other well acclaimed releases. They are predicting Best Picture will come from among The Social Network, Black Swan, Inception, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone.

We?ll all just have to wait until the envelope is opened and some famous person intones ?.. and the Oscar goes to??. In the meantime, you can catch a flavor of the movie and its components on the official website or watch how the film was made with a behind the scenes video embedded below.