Rti03’s review published on Letterboxd:
”Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.”
Danny Boyle’s and Aaron Sorkin’s new feature is a smart and unorthodox portrait of one of the most influential names of the 20th and 21st century; Steve Jobs. This is a man that has been depicted on screen numerous times, but there is no doubt in my mind that Sorkin’s and Boyle’s picture is the one that’s going to be remembered for the ages.
Pre-production hadn’t yet started and we were already hearing about Sorkin’s script for a new Steve Jobs flick that would put Kutcher’s movie to the shadows. No wonder why people talked about it, since Sorkin delivers some of the best material he has produced in his entire career. Here he makes the audacious decision of throwing the conventional Bio-Pic story ark to the garbage disposal. In Steve Jobs we don’t find the unadventurous narrative ark that unfortunately marks today’s Bio-Pics; we do not find the conservative and shallow approach that squeezes a person’s life into a two hour picture.
The movie rejects those kinds of conventionalities; it rejects a sentimental and tepid execution and instead creates something much bolder, vivid, interesting, emotional and exciting. Steve Jobs paints the portrait of its subject through wide brushes, as in fact, the film only focuses on three events of the man’s life; those being three crucial presentations of Jobs’ career.
Steve Jobs conveys the cacophonic drama and energy that encompassed those presentations; and it is through those that our character his painted and developed. Jobs’ personality and nature is rendered through these distinct stages and phases of his life, yet there’s something that makes this storytelling cohesive and linear. The film doesn’t feel fragmented or scattered because this daring approach; Steve Jobs as a character doesn’t come across less complex, complicated or interesting because of the way he’s observed, as quite the contrary occurs. Job’s is interpreted as a troubled but deeply intelligent and confident person; I found this depiction of the man to be fascinating, absorbing and mesmerizing.
Sirkon’s beautifully textured and layered text signed the film’s success. Ultimately Aron’s wide brushes paint a picture that’s extremely involving and that was able to capture the complexity that the Jobs himself had. The screenplay is narratively inventive and self-assured; filled with delightful dialogue as this is very much a dialogue based movie, with most of its action flourishing from it. It is a pleasure to see dialogue this good and kinetic be acted by performers of such tremendous talent; ‘cause the actors are also a big part of the movie’s triumph.
At the top of the ensemble we obviously have Michael Fassbinder. This guy continues to showcase why he’s one of the most regular, talented and most exciting actors working today. He just keeps on delivering sensational performances. He is working with big directors, he’s working on mainstream flicks such as X-Men and even Assassin’s Creed whilst at the same time he acts in smaller, more quiet movies such as Slow West or even Frank. He manages to balance his presence in the blockbuster world and the indie sphere perfectly. He’s an immensely layered artist and he proves the same here with a confident enthralling performance. He’s one of the brightest talents of his generation and as of now he is on fire.
Bursting with fire we also find an unrecognizable Kate Winslet. Her enactment is so discreet and modest that I forgot she was the one on screen. I hadn’t seen Winslet be this good in too long. She isn’t going through the liveliest moment in her career, but one shouldn’t forget of what an enormous talent she is. Her seven year absence from the Oscar night is about to end. It was good to be reminded of why she was one of the 00’s biggest female stars. Fantastic performance filled with subtlety
P.S: That haircut is really sexy.
One must also mention Jeff Daniels. He has been busy as of late with Aaron Sirkon’s own TV-Show, The Newsroom, and it is said that he’s fantastic in it. However on the big screen we haven’t seen much quality material from his part in a while. Even in this years’ The Martian his character is too small and one-noted for him to truly be able to do something remarkable, which is exactly what he does here. In Steve Jobs is acting chops are pushed and he delivers with ease. That same phrase could also describe my feelings towards Seth Rogen’s performance. Rogen is no doubt talented, but he’s better known for his comic sensibilities; so to find such a commanding and confident dramatic enactment from his part was surprising. Some of the movie’s most vital sequences were exactly the confrontations between Jobs and Wozniak (Rogen’s character) and in those he excels.
*Just a quick shout-out to Michael Stuhlbarg, a theater actor that always delivers and Katherine Waterston ´who’s becoming an increasingly interesting name.
Danny Boyle must also be applauded. Some people still doubt his talents but on the real he’s one of the most interesting directors in British cinema today. His work here is so good that it doesn’t make sad or regretful to see that it wasn’t David Fincher directing this picture, ‘cause Boyle’s direction is pitch-perfect. His direction is just has energetic and dynamic as the film’s screenplay.
Confidence is one of Steve Jobs biggest assets. You just sense the actors, the director, the editing grabbing and involving you. Whether you like it or not you’ll just be sucked inside the screen. It is extremely involving, well-paced and it is fun to watch; which is something that Bio-Pics nowadays refuse to be. Steve Jobs is risky, unconventional, kinetic, exciting and above all fun! And it is manages to be those without losing its complexity and emotion.