Social Media As New Movie Genre May Take Home Oscar Gold
If Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men are any indication that the winners of the the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures are a precursor for deciding Oscar winners, then this year's first movie about social media might score that coveted award. Winning four out of the top 15 awards from the NBR, The Social Network was distinguished best of the best when it was named the 2010 Film of the Year.
As the oldest movie award organization, the NBR was established 101 years ago as the unofficial clearinghouse for new movies. In its first year, D.W. Griffith's Pippa Passes won the best picture award, and movies like Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath and Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard were also worthy of this distinction during the last century.
Below is a full list of the 2010 awards given by the National Board of Review:
- Best Film: The Social Network
- Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
- Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
- Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year
- Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
- Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
- Best Foreign Language Film: Of Gods and Men
- Best Documentary: Waiting for "Superman"
- Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
- Best Ensemble Cast: The Town
- Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
- Best Directorial Debut: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo
- Spotlight Award: Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist
- Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Others worthy of Oscar gold, in my opinion are Andrew Garfield who played Zuckerberg's betrayed friend Edourdo Saverin and one of Facebook's original co-founders - and Justin Timberlake who was outstanding as the charismatic Sean Parker of Napster and Plaxo fame. In fact, if I was a betting man, I could see both of these actors vying for the Best Supporting Actor at this year's Oscar Award ceremony.
The NBR official statement described The Social Network as a "timeless drama" that explores the moment at which Facebook, the most revolutionary social phenomenon of the new century, was first introduced and the resulting lawsuits that ensued and have plagued CEO Mark Zuckerberg up to this day.
Winning the NBR's award for Best Picture adds to the growing momentum behind The Social Network which is nudging its way to the $200 million mark in worldwide receipts.
While other movies have used the Internet and the Dot.com era as a backdrop, The Social Network really forged new ground by using social media as the central theme of a movie. And with all such "firsts" that become successful, others are guaranteed to follow. In my recent post, "Can Social Media Movies Become Box Office Gold," I noted that a treatment about "Google," and Twittamentary, a documentary on Twitter are both on track to be released as movies next year.
And while Mark Zuckerberg was not all that thrilled by how he was portrayed in The Social Network, perhaps his walk-on role in the TV show, The Simpson's might extend an award to the genre of social media on the small screen as well. Stay tune to this year's Emmy nominations!