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Is the Time Person of the Year Choice Another Accolade for “The Social Network”?

Is the Time Person of the Year Choice Another Accolade for "The Social Network"?

This reminds me of the time that “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Nobel Peace Prize. There is no direct connection between Mark Zuckerberg being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year (and no he’s not the youngest — that’s still Charles Lindbergh) and the continued success of “The Social Network.” But it does seem related given that the movie version of Zuckerberg’s life is also prominently in the headlines lately with all the critic awards and top ten lists and what not. And shows like “60 Minutes” keep doing interviews with the real Zuckerberg seemingly only to again ask him about his reaction to the portrayal.

Seems like the first time a Person of the Year correlates to a new movie about that individual, but one of 1998’s two choices for “Men of the Year,” Bill Clinton, was also the subject of a scathing biopic. “Primary Colors” might not have acknowledged the then-President (played by John Travolta) by name, but that film was as much about Clinton as “The Social Network” is about Zuckerberg. Since then, depending on perspective, the 2006 Person of the Year — “You” — could be applied to something similar. I guess Queen Elizabeth reading that cover would work.

Some of the chatter heard round the Film Blog Water Cooler in response to Time‘s odd choice after the jump.

Ted Johnson at Variety’s Wilshire & Washington:

Doesn’t this choice give “The Social Network” a leg up in the Oscar race?

Christopher Rosen at Movieline:

the selection of Zuckerberg is also more grist for The Social Network’s Oscar campaign; The Fighter and The King’s Speech might be based on real-life men of varying degrees of power, but you don’t see Micky Ward or King George VI rubbing shoulders with Planet Earth. Think about how that will look on a “For Your Consideration” ad…

Guy Lodge at In Contention:

what’s really being acknowledged here: Zuckerberg’s own achievements over the year, or the raised public profile granted him by the success of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s biopic? The time to laud Zuckerberg for the creation of Facebook, no longer the hippest social network on the block, was surely several years ago; this is a testament to the media influence wielded by a single movie.

Joe Flint at L.A. Times’ Company Town:

Yes, Facebook is huge, but wasn’t it a bigger deal a few years ago? Who knows, maybe Zuckerberg needs to send a thank-you note to Aaron Sorkin, writer of “The Social Network,” which was not the most flattering portrayal of the Facebook chief.

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