Screwball sharp dialogue meets riveting bad behavior.
I'll get to a fuller review soon. Screened it at 9 AM this morning and I'm already desperate to see it again. The film has its big premiere tonight at the NYFF. Expect another torrent of crazed "buzz" to follow. That word is often used interchangeably with "hype" in Oscar punditry and online discourse -- I use it incorrectly myself I freely admit. But "buzz" is the real thing whereas "hype" is like buzz in vitro, carefully created. Buzz is uncontrollable and what results when something (pre-hyped or not) actually delivers. And The Social Network most definitely does.
About the sordid topic of Oscar... Before seeing it, I had predicted The Social Network for five nominations: Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Justin Timberlake), Adapted Screenplay and Editing. I have probably underestimated it slightly since Cinematography and Sound could well be in the cards, too. The performances are quite strong across the board but I fear it's the type of work that the acting branch will be the most resistant too, since most of the characters are "unlikeable" without being showy, and showy is the key modifier in clearing the unlikeable hurdle for awards voters... generally speaking of course.