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‘The Social Network’ versus pro-Facebook faction It’s not good when an Oscar contending film, typically one that is biographical in nature, comes against criticism in its dramatization of the facts. Often times, critics forget that it’s a movie.

Some Oscar winning films have a Teflon resistance to this, i.e. 2001 Best Picture Winner “A Beautiful Mind” apparently diverged from some real-life events in its main character John Nash’s life. However, whenever history is muddled with on screen, it has cost some films the prime trophy, i.e. “The Hurricane.”

Weeks before its Sept. 24 debut at the New York Film Festival, “The Social Network,” the cinematic chronicle of the founding of Facebook, is already facing some criticism. This is ridiculous because apparently, per a New York Post blog, producer Scott Rudin isn’t even finished with the cut of the film yet.

However, the New York Times ran a piece where they quoted the pans of those close to Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Apparently, they read a script that has been floating around the internet of the film. They also reject the movie’s source material, Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal” for its fictionalized retelling of the social website’s roots, derived from legal docments and interviews.

Zuckerberg never weighed in on the New York Times piece, giving the paper less credibility in the story. Although the paper quotes an onstage interview with Zuckerberg where he labeled “The Social Network” as “fiction.”

Apparently, “The Social Network” paints Facebook and Zuckerberg in an ill light. Rudin showed the film to key executives at the company and replied that “they do not like it.”

In addition, the New York Times took the liberty of quoting author David Kirkpatrick, an author with a rival non-fiction tome on the founding of Facebook. Kirkpatrick claims he had direct access to Zuckerberg for his book; that it’s more credible than Mezrich’s account (Mezrich wrote the book “21” which was turned into a
Sony drama-thriller starring Kevin Spacey).

Kirkpatrick is quoted in the Times as saying “much of the film, including many of the details of Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal life, are made up and ‘horrifically unfair.’ He said that Facebook might be forced to deliver a forceful rebuttal once the film has its premiere, especially if it turned out to be a hit.”

Bloggers believe that Kirkpatrick is coming off as jaded because his book wasn’t turned into a movie.


Photo Credit: Sony

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One Comment

  • August 24, 2010 | Permalink |

    Uh, fact check, much? The book that Mezrich wrote was called “Bringing Down the House” and was turned into movie ’21’ later.

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