I cannot see The Social Network. Let me back up. Usually, a movie you haven't seen yet is ruined by spoilers, details about the plot that lessen the impact of the film's surprises. Occasionally, however, a movie becomes so talked about that the peripheral chatter outweighs the film itself and overshadows it. I've experienced this three times: with Brokeback Mountain, Slumdog Millionaire, and now The Social Network. I've read about it in every newspaper, on every website, and seen news about it on every TV show. I'm too aware of it. The film occupies too large a part of my brain without having seen it. I would not be able to experience it in a fresh and enjoyable way at this point. Now I have to wait until the film is no longer on my radar so I can see it and judge it fairly, on its own terms, without being burdened with knowledge of awards buzz, critical analysis, details about the production, or its perceived cultural impact. I fear this may be never.
(Top: still from The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956, Paramount Pictures)