His supporting cast is stellar too. Andrew Garfield plays an extremely sympathetic character in Edwardo Saverin: equal parts naivete, loyalty, and confusion play into his ultimate betrayal, and we can see all of these things in Garfield’s facial expressions. And Justin Timberlake is a scene stealer as Sean Parker, the founder of Napster who also has a big piece of the facebook pie (though I have a hunch that the real Sean Parker is nowhere as cool as JT made him appear).
For being a movie about such a modern fad, what I really like about The Social Network is that it explores some very classic themes. Our protagonist comes to several forks in his road where he makes choices that can be seen as either virtuous or evil, and those choices make all the difference in his life. It also brings up themes of betrayal and brotherhood as old as Cain and Abel. I suppose nothing tests a friendship like the potential loss of a few billion dollars. Ultimately, what I like most about this movie is its simplicity. In an age when so many movies rely on gimmicks and 3D technology to sell tickets, it’s refreshing to see a film get it so right by relying on the basics. Facebook may have permanently changed the way we communicate with each other, for better or worse, but this film is driven by talking, good old-fashioned conversation. Facebook and technology in general may be disconnecting us from real human contact, but The Social Network reminds us that nothing can surpass good writing, good direction, and good acting in film, even in the age of technology.