Social Network, The : Movie Review

So what is Facebook, exactly? No, no, I know what it is, or I kind of do. That's a philosophical question, one that helps determine your attitude toward director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's movie "The Social Network" -- a dense, talky and addictive moral fable that depicts Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a 21st-century nerdcore version of Jay Gatsby -- at least before you've seen it. (You're seeing reviews everywhere because "The Social Network" opens the New York Film Festival on Friday night. It opens Oct. 1 in theaters nationwide.)

Is Facebook an interesting innovation built on top of existing technology, one of those things that plays a central social-cultural role for a few years and then fades into the wallpaper of everyday life? Because I don't remember anybody making a movie about the founder of UPS, or whoever invented the consumer VCR. Or does Facebook signify one of those massive Marshall McLuhan shifts in consciousness, where technological change drives a reordering of society, as with the introduction of electric light or the spread of the World Wide Web? (Even there, exciting dramas about Tim Berners-Lee are in short supply. OK, Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy played Thomas Edison in two different 1940 films, but I haven't seen them and neither have you.)

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Author : Andrew O'Hehir