Monday, June 24, 2024

Review: Danny Boyle’s High Octane “Steve Jobs” Gets An Early Thumbs Up


Note: we’ll have another review tomorrow, and a report from today’s press conference, premiere and party. You can’t overdo it on this one!

From  the first LA screening of “Steve Jobs,” from Danny Boyle: It was a smaller, selected press screening, and the jaded audience, including me, was beyond wowed. Written sharply, smartly and with precision like deftness by Aaron Sorkin and directed with high octane energy by Danny Boyle in his signature unconventional way, “Steve Jobs” jumps right out at you from the first scene and literally never lets up.

Michael Fassbender plays the conflicted Jobs perfectly, with his hubris, fear, humor and brilliance all operating with him in each and every second. Jobs, who in 1984 first introduced the Macintosh computer, changed history forever.  The film wouldn’t have worked, though if every actor weren’t spectacular. The ensemble includes a truly terrific Kate Winslet who plays Polish born Joanna Hoffman, Jobs’ long suffering marketing sidekick. It’s clear she is one of the only people that could stand up to him.

The always A plus Jeff Daniels plays John Sculley, the company CEO, and Seth Rogen plays Steve Wozniak, his longtime collaborator and friend, with compassion and true heartbreak. “Woz” wants to consistently love his friend but finds that a frustrating task to say the least. A shout-out to the talented Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays Andy Hertzfeld.

Sorkin concentrates on Steve’s life behind the veil, which includes his troubled relationship with his out of wedlock daughter, whom he denied having fathered but is so obviously his, played sweetly by two actresses, Makenzie Moss and Perla Haney-Jardine and her troubled mother, played with a heartbreaking intensity by Katherine Waterston, now well known from Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.” Sorkin’s screenplay is filled with his trademark witty banter, along with pathos, compassion and huge insight into who this man was, warts and all.

Fassbender certainly jumps into the top tier of potential Oscar nominees. His electrifying performance is thoroughly enthralling. Sorkin chose to end the story before the iPhone and Job’s battle with cancer. That was a smart move. The movie is so out of this world terrific that it didn’t need to go on with all that. We all know that story. What Sorkin, Boyle and Fassbender and ensemble have done, is dynamically tell us a story that is filmmaking at its absolute best. “Steve Jobs,” will absolutely be an awards contender, as well as it should.

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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