Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Aaron Sorkin and The Social Network

Aaron Sorkin and I have never met. He would have no idea who I am...and yet I have made an unofficial bargain with him. Whatever TV show or movie he writes the story for, I watch, no questions asked. A Few Good Men, The West Wing, Charlie Wilson's War, The American President...doesn't matter...Sorkin is, hands down, my favorite screenplay writer .

Sorkin's newest work, The Social Network, is the Oscar buzzing new film giving voyeurs a "fly on the wall" peak into the founding of the online site half the planet seems connected to.... including me. The movie features the snappy dialogue Sorkin has trademarked. Quick, intelligent, and really needing to be watched on DVD so you can rewind and absorb just how good it is.

OK, I digress but in the last month I've had a small handful of people compliment me on this blog. They've appreciated some of the humor, wit, and insights, and hey, I'm human; I won't pretend it doesn't stroke my ego a little. But, I'm smart enough to know that in writing terms, I'm the equivalent of the small town high school basketball star. I may be able to impress others (and sometimes myself) with the occasional swisher from the 3-point line, but when I  watch a Sorkin I realize I'm not even playing in the same league. True genius!

But I'm an Aaron Sorkin fan for other reasons. The way he sees the world, and America, is one that always inspires me. He puts so much of what he believes into his writing and I'm often watching and nodding with an occasional "Amen..preach it brother!" And its not just his views that I find compelling.  His writing often tips his hand to some of his own quirky interests. The icing on the cake for me has to be that in a particular episode of The West Wing Sorkin pretty much let it be known that the often forgotten James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was his favorite. Lets face it, the single outing for George Lazenby as Bond (after Sean Connery but before Roger Moore) is typically no one's favorite, except for my mother and I. Anyone who makes a point of working an affection for that Bond movie into his TV show...well...he gets my vote :)

Critically, The Social Network doesn't disappoint. Somehow watching the history of a story that most of us play a small part in makes it all the more compelling. In addition to the flawless screenplay, the casting and direction was Oscar worthy. And, is it just me, or is Justin Timberlake actually a good actor???

Anyhow, get out and see The Social Network.  It's a strong contender for this year's Best Picture award and, you're seeing it predicted first on Beyond the Pale, Sorkin will walk away with the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

And it will be well deserved...


Andrew said...

Heading over to Netflix for The American President, West Wing, and Charlie Wilson.

Just watched A Few Good Men the other day... again. I sit in awe of that movie.

Steve H. said...

You also have to get the 2 season's of his first show "Sport
s Night" as well as "Studio 60". Both shows were canceled before their time but are EXCELLENT!

Paul Ellis said...

Well said Steve. Just wondering, though, why you're picking Best Adapted Screenplay and not Best Original Screenplay?

Steve H. said...

Paul: Most likely it is classified as adapted as it is based on a book written by, I think, the guy who wrote "Bringin down the House" about the MIT grads that started a card counting ring in Vegas