The Social Network is up for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, after winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture earlier this month. Since the Globes are often thought of as the warm-up for, or the preview of, the Oscars, TSN‘s win positions it well for a run at the Oscar for Best Picture.
I won’t speak to whether I think TSN was the best movie of the year — I haven’t seen all the other nominees and I thought TSN was, at best, really good — but I will say I hope it wins, if only to further cement social networking into the mainstream.
That may sound a little hollow, like in a President-Obama-prematurely-winning-the-Nobel-Peace-Prize kind of way, and I don’t want to seem like I’m cheapening the art of film, which I have a deep respect for, but I do think that every so often, the right movie comes along at the right time to encapsulate a facet of culture that represents an important shift. Think Wall Street in the 80s or (if you lived in Seattle) Singles in the early 90s.
Social networking is perhaps the biggest cultural shift since the car, because it’s changed the way we live and interact with each other. I have friends today that I wouldn’t have had 10 years ago because I “met” them on Twitter and then formed relationships with them in person. My career is chronicled online, in the form of this blog. The English language is changing. Christ, my exact location, at certain times, is accessible to anyone who wants to see it.
And yet, I know many people, as I’m sure we all do, who are completely removed from the social sphere and are convinced it’s a fad.
I saw Inception and thought it was fantastic — yes, Oscar worthy. The Black Swan, The King’s Speech and True Grit all look great, but even if they’re all deserving of a Best Picture nod, I’d like to see TSN win it more. Those other movies would be deserving of an Oscar in any year, at any time, but TSN‘s relevance is, arguably, in the here and now.
Social networking needs The Social Network to win. It deserves that one little extra push to recognize that, at this point in time, this is part of who we are.