Steve Jobs ★★★½

I love a well structured piece of writing. Be it in film or elsewhere. I enjoy the way in which structure can give thematic force to what should be, at least in screenwriting, free-flowing, naturalistic dialogue. So, I was impressed that Aaron Sorkin's iteration of the Steve Jobs story (of which there has been a number recently) attempted to encapsulate the man and the myth via the build up to three key speeches in his career. Impressed at the attempt. Slightly disappointed at the exceptionally over-written execution.

If you'll allow me to throw some hearsay comparison into the mix (hearsay in that I've never seen Sorkin's 'The Newsroom' but heard much criticism of its hindsight-heavy pontification), there's a lot of Steve Jobs that feels too knowing, too understanding of the importance of "the now". Nondescript moments are positioned as culture-shattering flashpoints and Sorkin knows he'll get away with it because his audience has already digested the history. Which is to say Sorkin leans heavily on the Jobs mythology even as he works at deconstructing it.

In the foreground, director Danny Boyle may no has the panache to smooth Steve Jobs' screenplay into something actually cinematic but he does his utmost with the superb cast. Everyone here sinks into their roles with aplomb; their performances and Boyle's sense of pacing are impeccable, which only adds to the feeling that this would have worked far better on the stage. At least then the conciliatory nods to Shakespeare would have been slightly more at home.

Michael liked this review