My take on…Jobs
Jobs is a well-directed biopic of a person who changed the world. Joshua Michael Stern gets universally good and coherent performances out of a large group of actors.
Ashton Kutcher nails the physical appearance and public mannerisms of Steve Jobs, including that recognizable walk. There was a point, early in the movie, when I thought for a bit it might have even been archival footage (when we are seeing Jobs from behind).
I would push for a Supporting Oscar nomination for J.K. Simmons as Arthur Rock…that was a stand out.
The Art Direction and costuming were impressive. I know this era and area*, and things seemed appropriate without that being gimmicky, which can be hard to do in a “period piece”.
No, the place where it fell down was with the script by Matt Whitely (with a first IMDb credit).
There just wasn’t that much drama. Scenes which could have gotten into emotional depth tended to be touched on for a beat, and then you moved right on to something else.
The movie also makes it seem like the only real exceptional value to Steve Jobs was pushiness. When Jobs is mad about fonts not getting done, we don’t understand why. Perhaps that is accurate to Steve Jobs, but it always takes another character to explain why Steve wants what Steve wants. That scene (through no fault of Kutcher’s) seems like Jobs could have been equally upset about getting two sugars in a coffee instead of one.
Based on this movie, I couldn’t see the genius of Steve Jobs. When the character demands something, it almost seems arbitrary…like Jobs could have argued for a higher price or a lower price, whatever was different from what the “suits” wanted. Now, it is made clear that that isn’t the case…but we don’t get why Steve Jobs is right (as, in hindsight, we know was the case).
I would not steer you away from this movie, but I think it is one you could wait to watch from your iPad using your Apple TV. 😉
Full disclosure: my Significant Other knows a parent of Robert Komatsu, who edited the movie. While that did influence our choice of movie this weekend, I don’t think it has significantly impacted this review. At times, I did find the editing a bit frenetic, but I think that might have been a good thing, given the generally low energy level of the script.
* I was amused by a reference to The Good Earth, a restaurant in Palo Alto at the time…that’s probably where I had my first veggie burger
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle