Jobs was hateful, hurtful and dismissive. Is there any wonder that Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin couldn’t make a cinematic silk purse out of a pig’s ear?
I think it is fair to say that if Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Director Danny Boyle cannot make a decent movie about Steve Jobs, then it simply can’t be done. A prior movie starring Ashton Kutcher (Jobs, 2013) died on the vine while the recent documentary about the man attracted little interest.
I think there is a simple answer, namely that Mr. Jobs was an officious, narcissistic prick by any honest description. Nothing meaningful existed beneath his surface, and he displayed little interest in any other human being.
Yes, he was an intellectual genius who discovered a new world in much the same fashion as Columbus in 1492. However, I’d much rather watch a film about Cyrus McCormick inventing the reaper or Alexander Graham Bell the telephone than a guy whose principal concern was the accumulation of personal wealth.
Unfortunately, this film resembled an average stage play where nearly every scene took place at convention halls over the years where Jobs was about to be honored for a new creation. Scene after scene was sadly repeated, and the only thing that saved it from drowning were the fantastic talents of Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Kate Winslet as his suffering, dedicated assistant Joanna Hoffman.
The intrigue and grace that Mr. Sorkin brought us with Social Network (2010) and Mr. Boyle’s 127 Hours (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is absent here. Furthermore, supporting performances from Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels and Michael Stuhlbarg were good but largely meaningless given the shallow nature of the entire film.
Finally, if you think I am being overly critical, then consider the fact that a central theme of this film centered on Jobs’ rejection of his child, even though a court found him to be the father. He treated this girl and her mother as a nuisance from the time she was 5 years old, and Jobs revealed his inner self when he publicly criticized the court’s finding.
Though the court determined from blood analysis that there was a 94% chance that Jobs was the father of this little girl, he rejected that by noting that this still left the possibility that 28 million American men could be the father. Both his daughter and her mother were living on welfare at the time, so it is not hard to understand why so few people feel the need to see his story on the big screen.