Archive of March 2011
The choice between “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” isn’t between a British film and an American one, but between a reassuring film and an unsettling one. As excellent as “The King’s Speech” is, it tells us that things were better in the olden days when everyone knew their place, and when a stiff upper lip was all it took to win a war against the Nazis. There are chilling moments—Bertie’s stories of his abused childhood, David’s sneering at his younger brother—but they lead us to the comforting conclusion that love and friendship conquer all, disabilities can be overcome, and, as long as you believe in yourself, good will prevail over evil.
“The Social Network” is another matter. It offers more questions than answers, leaving us to debate which of its characters are heroes and which are villains, who’s been exploited and who’s done the exploiting. It makes some viewers want to log straight onto Facebook, and others vow never to Update their Status again. And it doesn’t let us relax, as “The King’s Speech” does, by being set 60-odd years ago in the art-deco past. It’s a film about now.
— Nicholas Barber. I liked “The King’s Speech”. I felt it was a great average film. I doubt I’ll remember it in 6 months, let alone 5 years. For me, “The Social Network” was a masterpiece. I think about it all the time, and I expect to remember it for the rest of my life.