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Roger Ebert’s Top Ten List

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times, arguably the most famous movie critic in history, has released his Top Ten of the year. While it’s not that close to my own choices, it’s far more interesting then Peter Travers, which was released a bit earlier this month. The lists do, however, share the same choice as Best Film of the Year.

Not hard to guess what it is.

1. The Social Network
2. The King’s Speech
3. Black Swan
4. I Am Love
5. Winter’s Bone
6. Inception
7. The Secret in Their Eyes
8. The American
9. The Kids Are All Right
10. The Ghost Writer

Here is what he had to say about his number 1 choice:

1. “The Social Network” Here is a film about how people relate to their corporate roles and demographic groups rather than to each other as human beings. That’s the fascination for me; not the rise of social networks but the lives of those who are socially networked. Mark Zuckerberg, who made billions from Facebook and plans to give most of it away, isn’t driven by greed or the lust for power. He’s driven by obsession with an abstract system. He could as well be a chessmaster like Bobby Fischer. He finds satisfaction in manipulating systems.

The tension in the film is between Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins, who may well have invented Facebook for all I know, but are traditional analog humans motivated by pride and possessiveness. If Zuckerberg took their idea and ran with it, it was because he saw it as a logical insight rather than intellectual property. Some films observe fundamental shifts in human nature, and this is one of them.

David Fincher’s direction, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and the acting by Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and the others all harmoniously create not only a story but a world view, showing how Zuckerberg is hopeless at personal relationships but instinctively projects himself into a virtual world and brings 500 million others behind him. “The Social Network” clarifies a process that some believe (and others fear) is creating a new mind-set.

Read more about Ebert’s other choices for best films of the year over at his blog, Roger Ebert’s Journal.

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