October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

David Fincher’s “The Social Network” earns more raves

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: There are so many reviews of David Fincher’s “The Social Network” floating around the Internet, you’d think the anticipated drama about the birth of Facebook was opening this Friday.

It’s not. The official release date is Oct. 1, though Fincher’s film also opens this year’s New York Film Festival on Sept. 24. We already know former L.A. Weekly critic Scott Foundas loves the film. Now we’re hearing even more positive – like way over-the-top positive – reactions from a handful of web writers lucky enough to see the film.

Kris Tapley at In Contention calls it “the most culturally relevant film Scott Rudin has produced since 1998′s ‘The Truman Show.'” He praises Aaron Sorkin’s script and most of the performers, from Andrew Garfield and Jesse Eisenberg to Justin Timberlake. His take on the film is extremely positive.

Jeff Wells, for instance, left Toronto early for a New York screening of Fincher’s film but far from regrets the trip. “It’s the strongest Best Picture contender I’ve seen so far this year,” Wells writes, adding, “A movie might come along that’ll ‘beat’ The Social Network, but I can’t imagine right now what that might be, and I know whereof I speak. The contenders have been thinned and there are very few Best Picture contenders that seem anywhere near as good in a high-throttle, smart-ass sort of way. This is brilliant Fincheresque agitation, brilliant madness — the kind of movie that makes the struggle of my life seem worth it and then some.”

Then there’s Drew McWeeny at HitFix, who also loved Fincher’s work, praising, “This is an astounding film about one of the most important seismic shifts in communication in the modern age, and the way innovation and ethics are not often related.”

I’m going to stop there, but you don’t have to. There are more reviews floating around, and they are easy enough to find. I’m choosing not to. Sony is screening “Social Network” for me next week, and I don’t want to spoil the experience. Fincher is my favorite director working today. I’m expecting to love “Social Network,” and from the little bit I’ve read so far, it won’t let me down. Here’s hoping.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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