In David Fincher's "The Social Network" -- the best studio film of 2010, whatever "King's Speech" partisans may argue -- Justin Timberlake was perfectly cast as a smarmy, cynical version of Napster co-founder and former Facebook President Sean Parker. It was a brilliant secondary performance by the pop idol. But what could Fincher and Timberlake do for an encore?
The answer, as if you hadn't heard, is "Suit & Tie," the new Fincher-directed video promoting the first single off Timberlake's third album, "The 20/20 Experience," scheduled for a March 19 roll-out. Among the guest-stars on the new video are Jay-Z and a bunch of bespoke Tom Ford suits.
Fincher broke into feature filmmaking as a video director, and devotees will immediately recognize several of his stylistic signatures in "Suit & Tie": the chiaroscuro lighting, the fluid editing, the subtle character-revealing facial close-ups, here frequently wreathed in plumes of cigar smoke.
The opening setting is apparently a hotel suite, where JT is scarfing down a bowl of cereal (soup?) while Jay-Z checks out some hoops on his flat-screen and chatters away. But the action quickly shifts to an Art Deco nightclub and a recording studio, where JT gets to show off his dance moves and his high, silky tenor.