Can Aaron Sorkin Just Write Everything From Now On? Please? (10/25/2015)
by Andrew Saladino
'Steve Jobs': I kept thinking, 'man, that was a good line... man, that was a good line... man, that was a good line...'
If America has a sick fascination with a-holes (otherwise, explain Messers. Trump, Maher, O'Reilly, Kanye, Lebron, etc.), then Apple co-founder Steve Jobs ranks as king of the American a-holes, a fascinating individual most respect, some worship, and nearly all have discussed with the widest range of colorful language. Since his death, much has been written and spoken about about his progressive, innovative spirit, his often dictatorly-leadership, his harshness, and his humanity. 'Steve Jobs', directed by the kinetic Danny Boyle and written by the king of rat-a-tat-tat Aaron Sorkin, is a thrilling cinematic rush of wit and vitriol, backed by a hashtag-amazing performance from Michael Fassbender, who absolutely nails the physicality and fiery passion of the role. Kate Winslet charms as she always does (even if her supposed-Polish accent is wobbly), Jeff Daniels really nails Sorkin's quick jabs, and since when did Seth Rogen have the capability to stand along side those three names and not look like a total idiot?
'Jobs' may not feel as compact or as rounded as Sorkin's Oscar-winner 'The Social Network' but the two are different films, despite both being about men who've perhaps had the most influence over our modern-day lives. It doesn't feel as well-defined or even as emotionally-satisfying as the 'Social Network'. Nor should it. 'Jobs' is three individual snapshots into the life of (for better or worse) an iconic figure who very likely thought way too much of himself. It does not need to capture facts and figures so much as essence. It is more important that the audience feel the air Jobs breathed, the shift in atmosphere when his presence entered the room, the silence when his harsh words snapped around. For my money, Boyle and Sorkin capture that essence pitch-perfectly.
If I have any issues, and I do, they are with Mr. Boyle. I couldn't help compare Boyle's 'Jobs' with the 'Jobs' original director David Fincher would've made. In some ways, Boyle's is better- his camera swoops along and around in a way that Fincher's never really does, and his music undercuts and obtrudes exactly when necessary in a way that Fincher often forgets how to do. However, Mr. Boyle tends to be flamboyant where Mr. Fincher tends to observe and quietly nudge- the former's occasional music-video qualities feel forced and ill-judged, and his editing could be tightened in a perfectionist-Fincher way.
***1/2 (three and a half stars out of four)
'Steve Jobs'. Directed by Danny Boyle. Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, Seth Rogen, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz. 122 min. Rated R (whip-smart dialogue peppered with four-letter words)