Scoring "The Social Network"

For the movie “The Social Network,” composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were challenged to score a film with a complex emotional range but little action, only a whiff of violence and no traditional love story: It’s about starting a business that manufactures nothing. No major character, including Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is fully formed in the film, because “The Social Network” is populated by narcissistic youths who lack empathy, honor and an adult worldview.

Despite these obstacles, the movie pulses with skittish tension, dry wit and bipolar energy, all of which is intensified by the music of Mr. Reznor, who’s best known as the founder of Nine Inch Nails, and Mr. Ross, who’s worked behind the scenes on several NIN albums. At times, the score seems to provide commentary and, ultimately, a moral judgment about the characters’ activities and missing values. (It’s available as a digital download for $5 at Mr. Reznor’s www.nullco.com.)

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