Mike De Luca On 'The Social Network' Loss

Deadline’s Mike Fleming just caught up to one of The Social Network producers, Mike De Luca, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party: “We released the movie at the time we felt it was most appropriate, and it performed beyond out expectations. Maybe it wasn’t pleasing as The King’s Speech to Oscar voters. And historically there is a disconnect between the critics and those voters. But the emotional complexity is what I love about The Social Network. I did take comfort in Steven Spielberg’s reminder of the great films that didn’t win Best Picture.”

  1. Well said. I wish the people commenting on the various Oscar sites would express their disappointment this way, rather than shouting and crying about why The King’s Speech was a “terrible winner”.

    1. nothing suprises me about the old fogies in the academy. hurt locker over avatar, kings speech over social network??? they picked these winners not cause they were necessarily the better movie but more so cause it’s the movie they got. and people wonder why they’re’s such a disconnect between the academy and the public.

      how i would fix the show: start by cutting out the awards no one cares about seeing (art direction, sound mixing, etc) by putting them on a separate show leading up to the oscars. then with that now extra hour of time to fill put in more interaction with the stars in the audience or add awards people care about (comedy) or add more nominations to the categories so that it can include those actors/actresses who were overlooked for those in movies no one saw.

      1. Ah, I see what you’re doing – you’re underscoring the comment you’re responding to by doing exactly the opposite. And you managed to use the “word” they’re’s.

      2. The King’s Speech has actually earned more money at the box office than The Social Network (according to Box Office Mojo), so I don’t think it’s entirely fair to claim that there’s “such a disconnect between the Academy and the public.” Truthfully, I think The King’s Speech is a better movie than The Social Network — I thought the latter was enjoyable, but hardly the best movie I saw last year, and certainly not better than TKS, Inception, or even TS3. I thought The Social Network’s point was ultimately to take advantage of the popularity of Facebook, but the movie’s kind of hollow. And I’m in that younger demographic the Academy is so desperate to reach.

        The bigger problem the Academy faces is an industry problem: movies either make money, or they’re good. There isn’t much room in between. If Hollywood went back to making movies that people actually enjoyed, the Oscars would normalize. But you can see it every year: Halle Berry will make a movie like Monster’s Ball for the credibility/awards bait (I still think she’s a mediocre actress) and then make X2 for the payoff. Maybe movies like Inception and The Social Network will start to shift Hollywood back in the other direction, but I doubt it.

    1. Did you not watch Spielberg’s opening remarks before announcing? ‘…the other nine will join a list that includes “The Grapes of Wrath, “Citizen Kane”, “The Graduate” and “Raging Bull”….

    1. I agree with you. They are acting like everyone loved this movie. It was ok. Most people I know that saw it didn’t like it. The characters got on their nerves

      1. Agreed. Aaron Sorkin is brilliant, BUT all his characters spout the same clever dialogue. White out the character names on one of his scripts and try to figure out who’s speaking. Bet you can’t.

        1. that’s a good point. as much as i like most of his work, i usually prepare myself going in for the flowery speech/dialogue-so specifically-Sorkin moment in the films he writes.

      2. …seriously? you don’t need a to have a likeable character to win an oscar. and a lot of people did like this movie, i mean it did get a 95 on metacritic

  2. TSN didn’t deserve any awards. Seriously. It was a clunky picture. Yes, the story is great. We know that. But there was nothing special about it.

  3. The best picture win for TKS was somewhat expected and could be reasonably argued this it was somewhat warranted. But the win for Hooper for best director was a flat out joke. TKS is a down the middle 90 mile an hour fastball bio pic. Simple to it core. Rudy had more emotional and creative complexity. I would argue every other film in the best director category started as a more challenging directors assignment and were each executed with far more skill and originality than TKS. Crazy.

    1. But dude, what about all the negative framing Hooper did of the King? How nuanced is that, to constantly frame your character in an off-putting, uncomfortable manner to convey his discomfort in life? Brilliant!

  4. The best picture win for TKS was somewhat expected and could be reasonably argued that it was somewhat warranted. But the win for Hooper for best director was a flat out joke. TKS is a down the middle 90 mile an hour fastball bio pic. Simple to it core. RUDY had more emotional and creative complexity. I would argue every other film in the best director category started as a more challenging directors assignment and that each was executed with far more skill and originality than TKS. Crazy.

  5. well, the kings speech is a good picture, but not the best of the year — what it shows is that the academy does not like films with any kind of depth. It wasn’t a kings sweep as predicted and the first time that a movie with 12 nominations only got 4 awards — had the show been moved to March — we might have seen different results.

    I caught the social network a second time and appreciated more than the first time.

  6. Hooper and TKS win are an Oscar embarrassment as an HBO production won in the film category. You can thank Harvey Weinstein for his campaigning of Oscar bait material to the average age voting pool of 57 year olds.

    1. Both The King’s Speech and The Social Network are incredible movies. Apples and oranges. Because you love Social Network doesn’t mean you have to belittle TKS. There could only be one winner. It sucks but those are the rules.

  7. It can go up there with other Oscar nominees like The Towering Inferno, Airport, Love Story and Doctor Dolittle,

  8. Spielberg was referring to INCEPTION, as one deserving of Best Picture, ps. THE SOCIAL NETWORK set the land-speed record for free association though. And HRH could certainly not have done it.

  9. Both were well deserving of winning. I think TSN might have been at a disadvantage in that most people saw TKS second and that often psychologically leaves an imprint when making any decision.

    However, I think the biggest factor was there being no female character of any importance in TSN. Many academy voters are women or their husbands let them fill out the ballot(at least that’s the rumor) and if so Helen Bonham Carter’s character could have easily swayed the vote as she is so integral to George VI seeking help for his stuttering.

  10. The Social Network can be enjoyed as great film making, so Fincher deserves praise for his very skillful treatment of the material. And Aaron Sorkin is a fine writer whose only failure is that virtually every character in the film sounds like Sorkin.

  11. When Spielberg was listing the Best Picture losers I was so hoping he would mention Saving Private Ryan just to stick it to Harvey. This really is ’98 all over again. (Though I still think Toy Story 3 was the best of the year.)

    1. Agreed! TS3 is EASILY the best film of this past year. Beautiful, emotional, character-driven storytelling. Incredible direction. Imagination. Humor. Heart. With all love to TKS and TSN and the others, TS3 will stand the test of time, not them. But the acting branch of the Academy will never acknowledge an animated film.

    1. Ghandi over E.T. in 1984. Top that.

      Matt Damon was right. Lets wait 10 years before voting to see how films hold up.

      TKS will always be a good, plain biopic. Quite forgettable in the end. Like Ghandi! (And who the hell wants to watch that again!?!)

      TSN will live on as the seminal film that it is. It perfectly captured a story for the ages, one responsible for one of the epic shifts society has ever seen (yes, ever, and this will be more clear as time goes on).

      Academy FTL.

  12. The Oscars are a joke. They can be bought and sold like so many burritos and everybody knows it. The King’s Speech is what the idiots think they are supposed to like. Not to mention, the Weinsteins have been responsible for some of the most egregious wins in Hollywood history.

    Maybe people don’t watch because they know the Oscars are a big, fat fraud. Why watch a fixed race? What’s the fun in that?

    Social Network was simply ten times the movie that King’s Speech is. However, KS has all the formulaic qualities that appeal to the knot headed members of the Academy who are too dumb to be able to distinguish between any English costume dramas or Holocaust films. Hey, lots of Queen’s English is enough for most of those morons.

    Screw the Oscars. I’ve watched my last one, I can tell you that.

  13. The Social Network deserved the win, but I don’t think anybody is surprised that The King’s Speech won. What was more surprising was that David Fincher lost to Tom Hooper. Love TKS all you want, but Hooper was the least deserving of the five nominees. That is magnified when one considers that Nolan wasn’t one of them. Love or hate Fincher, he is a visionary who brought a unique and exceptional style to TSN. Hooper did for TKS what he did for John Adams (run of the mill composition, but with strong performances from the actors), just now on 35mm.

    It doesn’t matter that much, as Speilberg noted all the movies that didn’t win best picture. What he didn’t say is that those movies usually lost to forgettable films like Raging Bull losing to Ordinary People and Citizen Kane losing to How Green is My Valley. TSN may not be Citizen Kane, but TKS win is another How Green is My Valley. So the tradition of the Oscar bait beating the more deserving picture continues.

  14. I wish The Social Network won myself, I felt it was a much better film, but The King’s Speech was a good film so no full on hating. But let’s face it, The Social Network is a masterpiece.

    And on a side note, why aren’t there other guys like De Luca working in HW anymore? Mike was my hero in the mid 90’s. Not only because of the films he made, but homeboy was a bad-ass and partied like Chinaski. I watched him punch out some drunk loudmouth at the Ivy. Who does that and can produce a film like Boogie-Nights?! Even though I’ve only met Mike a few times, my hat’s off to him!! Mike’s a throwback to when HW was actually cool.

  15. I really think it was a mistake that the producers of The Social Network didn’t show their films at the festivals at Telluride or Toronto. I saw The King’s Speech in Toronto and it was the perfect way to discover the film, without the critics’ seal of approval. Hooper, Firth, and Rush spoke the audience for a half hour and the audience love the film.

    I liked The Social Network but I do not think it’s a a masterpiece. I, for one, have no desire to watch Mark Zuckerberg betraying his friends over and over again. I also think Fincher did a much better job directing Zodiac.

  16. What killed the Social Network as Best Picture with members of AMPAS? I figure Sony overmarketed the film,over played the hype with this one. Now I like David Fincher’s film for example my all time favorite is Fight Club. But seriously I believe the pr got overplayed here playing up Facebook which could turn out a movie audience.
    Now the King’s Speech rise I believe was through word of mouth like the Black Swan. I saw trailers of Speech and personally I want to see it; I researched the film too and I learned that it took place prior to World War 2 another reason why I would like to see it.
    Now to some AMPAS members perhaps TSN wasn’t as good a film as they thought too. I’ve been disappointed by some films that way too I might add.

  17. Social Network should not be named in the same breath as any of the films Spielberg mentioned… but nice try, bub.

  18. Really? White out characters names and you can’t tell the difference?
    It’s amazing, how this specific attitude about dialogue still exists.
    Great dialogue in a movie is simply that…great movie dialogue.
    Majority of great characters in great movies do sound very much the same.
    Can you really tell the difference between Butch and Sundance?
    Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker? No…you can’t. Outside of language accents, class differencves, etc., majority of people in real life, just like characters in movies are going to sound similar. The minute they start sound so vastly different? They stick out. And the minute they really stick out?
    You’re pulled out of the movie, the story. I thought and felt both SN and King were average to say the least. And I’m a big David Fincher fan. But BIUTIFUL, was much more powerful than both of these movies.

  19. No, Mark, absolutely disagree. Great movies have characters with distinct points of view and therefore voices. Watch Goodfellas, sideways, shawshank Redemption– the characters have very different voices. Sorkin is a wonderful writer, but his great flaw is that all his characters sound alike. It’s what keeps him from being one of the true greats. But he is still one of the best writing today (besides me :)

  20. You have GOT to be kidding me! TSN was a boring movie about boring people doing boring things. TKS was a FAR better picture and completely deserving of Best Picture award. I can’t even think of why TSN was even nominated other than the fact that it was about a timely topic. Bad movies don’t win Best Picture. Plain and simple.

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