Reel Talk: Hey, why didn’t you see “Steve Jobs” this weekend?


Jillian Leiby, JagWire opinions editor

This weekend, I was able to catch the new Steve Jobs film, aptly called “Steve Jobs.” I was looking forward to this movie. I actively ignored actual responsibilities I had this weekend so I could watch it.

While Aaron Sorkin can be accused of racism and sexism, but he is one of those incredibly gifted people that I give a pass. His screenplays are filled with snappy, fast-paced dialogue I live for that. Just watch “The Social Network,” which he wrote.

I’m also, like most people in the last few years, a huge fan of Michael Fassbender. And, I’m one of very few who had little doubt that he could do a great job playing someone who looks nothing like him. If any previous work shows, the Irish-born actor can bleed into any role. Just watch “12 Years a Slave,” where he plays a depraved, southern slave owner.

So I made it a priority to watch “Steve Jobs.” And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fassbender was great as the eponymous Jobs. The Oscar buzz, which seemed mandatory before, is earned here. His physical transformation would not be enough to sell the show without his beautiful performance. His mannerism toy the line between an obsessive jerk and a brilliant innovator, and the movie begs the question that he could just be both.

Kate Winslet is a stand-out as Jobs’ long-suffering ally and confidant, Joanna Hoffman. Her wisdom and constant presence is a welcome balance to Jobs’s crazy antics. A subplot that shows Jobs’s relationship with his daughter was also a great way to give the man behind the myth some humanity.

While “Steve Jobs” had a relatively successful limited opening, it tanked in the mainstream box office. As you can see, I enjoyed the film immensely. So, why did it fail to connect with the moviegoing audience?

Some of it could be chalked up to movie politics. The Sony hack gave it some bad publicity when it was just starting to film.

Another reason could be the way the film was promoted. Both the actors and the people behind the film (director Danny Boyle, Sorkin) consider the film to be a fictional film based on a real life person. Sorkin took three moments in Jobs’s career and sensationalized them for the film. While the film is inspired by Walter Isaacson’s biography of the same name in theory, Sorkin has tried to stray away from saying the film is historically accurate. The promotion for the film, however, highlights the fact that the film is based on a true story.

The movie also didn’t go into enough detail on the actual plot of the film, so maybe no one wanted to see another movie about Steve Jobs. Obviously, no one really liked Ashton Kutcher’s version. Except this one is actually good. And you should’ve seen it. So do so now. It’s going to be a major player in this year’s Oscars. But, that’s for another time.

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