Last night I went to see “Steve Jobs”.
Despite the fact that my school district only had apple computers when I was in elementary and middle school I have never been one to bow down at the altar of apple. Since I don’t worship Steve Jobs then the main reason I wanted to see the movie was because of the amazing cast, screenwriter and director involved in the film.
I once heard Meryl Streep referred to as a technical actress. For some she does everything right on paper. She learns the accent of her character; she gets the hair and costumes done just right.
She does more research any anybody possible could imagine but at the end of the day she just isn’t able to connect with the audience. I don’t feel this way about Meryl Streep but I did feel that way about “Steve Jobs”. On paper the movie should have been brilliant. You have an Academy Award winning director, a script by another Oscar winner, a hot Oscar nominee in the lead role and another Oscar winner provided with a fantastic supporting role.
But it doesn’t all come together the way that it should.
At the end the movie left me feeling cold. Why is that? I think part of the reason is Aaron Sorkin’s script. Left in a vacuum or in a screenwriting class it is a brilliant script. It is smart and has brilliant monologues but when it is put up on the screen it feels stifled.
I heard a critique that the film unfolds like a play. I don’t necessarily have a problem when you can clearly see the act breaks but nothing about the way the action unfolded on screen felt organic. I get that product launches were huge days in the life of Steve Jobs but I just don’t believe that all these dramatic conversations always happened to him just minutes before the Mac, NEXT and I-Mac were unveiled to the world. There are times when things written by Aaron Sorkin are pure genius, like “A Few Good Men” and “The Social Network”. However, there are other times when his words feel elitist and too refined. Almost as if they are written for writing geeks only and not for people he doesn’t know in his private life. There are many moments in the first season of “The West Wing” that felt like that and “Steve Jobs” certainly feels like that. Maybe Sorkin’s script wouldn’t have felt so lifeless if Danny Boyle had changed a few things in his directing. For a director who has done incredibly high energy films like “Trainspotting”, “28 Days Later” and “Slumdog Millionaire” it seems weird for him to have a film that is so sedate.
After all this is the man who managed to make “127 Hours” incredibly exciting and entertaining despite the fact that most of the movie is just James Franco pinned between a large rock and a wall. This leads me to think it really is Sorkin’s script that shackled Danny Boyle. None of this is to say that “Steve Jobs” is a bad movie. It is extremely well made it’s just not one that is going to pull you in on an emotional level.
There are many notable people in the film but at the end of the day the performances from Seth Rogan and Jeff Daniels don’t really matter all that much. The film belongs to Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. Despite the issues with the script and the directing I was very impressed with Michael Fassbender. He creates a character unlike any I’ve ever seen him play before.
All of the buzz he’s gotten for this movie is well deserved. Kate Winslet’s character is the one aspect of the film that tries to bring some much needed heart. She does a great job, but then again would we expect anything less from Kate Winslet. The one issue I have with Kate Winslet’s performance was that it seemed like she was supposed to be doing a Polish accent but her accent was very inconsistent.
There were times when it was there but at least half time Kate Winslet seemed to be doing a plain American accent.
Unless you are a diehard Steve Jobs fan or you absolutely adore one of the people involved with this film you can skip it “Steve Jobs. Considering its flat box office performance I think it’s probably going to be an Oscar dud, and with the exception of Fassbender’s performance and possibly Winslet’s it really should be forgotten come awards season. If you are looking for a well-made adult film go see “Freeheld” (check out my review of that movie: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/freeheld/), “Room” (check out my review of that movie: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/room/) or “The Martian” (check out my review of that movie: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-martian/) instead.
If you liked my blog entry please it and like my facebook page: