the social network

David Fincher’s Facebook movie “The Social Network” headed into the 83rd Oscars ceremony tonight with eight nominations, including the Best Picture and  Best Actor awards. It walked out with only three: Best Adapted Screenplay (for Aaron Sorkin), Best Original Score (for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) and Best Editing (Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter).

The film faced stiff competition from the likes of “The King’s Speech”, “True Grit”, and “Black Swan.” But given that The Social Network was a critical darling, and that it also walked away with four Golden Globe awards (including Best Picture), it had a good chance at winning some major categories. (Check out my podcast review of the film with VentureBeat’s Anthony Ha.)

Here’s a rundown of The Social Network’s award nominations and wins:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor, Jesse Eisenberg
  • Directing, David Fincher
  • Adapted Screenplay, Aaron Sorkin (Won)
  • Cinematography, Jeff Cronenworth
  • Editing, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter (Won)
  • Original Score, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Won)
  • Sound Mixing

The veracity of “The Social Network” has been disputed by many, including an early Facebook employee and our own Executive Editor Owen Thomas. The film is based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires”, which is also notorious for the liberties it takes with facts.

Both the film and book take a significant amount of accurate information from court documents, but they also fill in gaps in Facebook’s story in creative (and often inaccurate) ways. That led to decisions like the removal of significant people from Facebook’s history, including Mark Zuckerberg’s longtime girlfriend.

The Social Network was also thought to be a public relations disaster for Facebook, considering its negative portrayal of founder Mark Zuckerberg. Shortly before it was released, Zuckerberg announced his $100 million education foundation, Startup: Education, which some viewed as a way to offset the film’s bad publicity. Ultimately, the film didn’t cause much discernible public outcry, and Zuckerberg even had the good humor to join actor Jesse Eisenberg on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago.