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Social Media Geek Squad Gets Critical As 'The Social Network' Gains Traction

Mark Zuckerberg might criticize the movie folks that produced the unauthorized flick of the birthing of Facebook, but movie critics think otherwise. The National Society of Film Critics went 'social' this week bestowing top prizes to The Social Network in four of its major categories. Director David Fincher, lead actor Jesse Eisenberg and screen writer Aaron Sorkin took home the honors for Best Picture of the Year.

The film critic's award organization, now in its 45th year of annually honoring the best of the best includes amongst its member of judges, the venerable Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, Time Magazine's Richard Schickel and the Globe movie critics Ty Burr and Wesley Morris.

With the upcoming award season coming up, one of the earliest judges to post results was the National Board of Review in December. As the oldest movie award organization, the NBR kicked off the award season by also awarding Fincher, Sorkin and Eisenberg in addition to the movie as its top picks for the year.

And If the NBR's top awards for Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men in previous years are any indication that the winners of the the NBR are a precursor for deciding Oscar winners, then this year's first movie about social media might score that coveted distinction.

Most critics would agree that the the movie to beat this year undoubtedly is The Social Network, which just also won at the recent Los Angeles Film Critics ceremony. Currently nominated for six Golden Globes, should the movie secure top honors at that upcoming award show on January 16, it's a good bet it will win at the Oscars. In addition to the movie, director, screenwriter and best actor, Andrew Garfield has been nominated for the Globe's Best Supporting Actor and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth could win in his category for some beautifully-shot textured camera work.

Satire is another technique used by critics to either ironically praise or lambaste work accomplished in a certain field. And while the just-released graphic novel about Facebook isn't heavy-handed about it, it does take a turn at lampooning Aaron Sorkin's adapted screenplay from Ben Mezrich's book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal."

The graphic novel Facebucks & Dumb F*cks not only parodies Mark Zuckerberg (aka Z-Man), it also parodies some of the classic lines from the book and movie.

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
When Z-Man is approached by his first groupie due to his recent fame having just launched Facebook at Harvard - in a somewhat bawdy depiction - he is quick to query this female's true motives before he proceeds with what most likely was one of his first one-night stands.

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
So from the critics' mouths to potential Oscar gold, it looks like Mark Zuckerberg's fictionalized life is definitely an award-winner and might just end up burnishing his reputation with more 'geek cred' than his real life. See you at the award-ceremonies!

UPDATE: January 17, 2011 - All Facebook: The Social Network took home four Golden Globes Awards, for best dramatic motion picture, screenplay, director and soundtrack. These wins signal that the movie has a strong chance of taking the top honor at the Oscars next month.

Oscar Gold for The Social Network?Oscar Gold for The Social Network?