Classics of the New Millennium: "The Social Network" with Odie Henderson

Classics of the New Millennium: "The Social Network" with Odie Henderson

It’s strange to realize that David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐) came out in 2010 — it seems like it was just yesterday and it also seems like two centuries ago. Thirteen years on, and after a decade-plus of social and political upheavals that can in part be traced directly to Facebook, this first warning about where our social media was taking us and the nature of the people at the helm looks more depressingly on the money than ever. And yet it remains a crackling piece of entertainment — a movie that’s all talk yet never stops moving (not unlike social media) and a film about computer geeks that spends most of its time in the real world. Above all, it’s an early look at the toxic bro-men who have become our captains of industry while leading us by the nose into the dark. (Hello, Elon.)

“The Social Network” made major stars of Jesse Eisenberg (above right) and Andrew Garfield, and it provided career breakthroughs for Rooney Mara (above left) and, as the Winklevi, Armie Hammer. It’s most critically a story of how America’s traditional ruling class is helpless in the face of the new robber barons of Silicon Valley, and it’s probably the best, least annoying match-up of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and subject matter. (The characters are, for once, as smart and as glib as he is.) I’m delighted to discuss the movie with Odie Henderson, a longtime movie reviewer for and, as of last October, my replacement as film critic at The Boston Globe. Odie is known for shooting from the hip, to say the least, but in addition to his wit and forthrightness, he also brings to this discussion decades of day-job work as a computer programmer and a working knowledge of the tech world depicted in the movie. In Odie’s words, “This is exactly what IT people are like. Except I think it made the Jesse Eisenberg character too nice.”

It’s one of the most illuminating and provocative Watchcasts yet, and I hope you give it a listen. If you’ve never seen “The Social Network” or want to revisit the movie before or after the talk, it’s streaming on Paramount+ and available for a $4 rental fee at Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube, and elsewhere.

Thanks for listening! Have any thoughts? Want to suggest a movie for this series? Don’t hesitate to weigh in.

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