“Actor Michael Fassbender puts in a riveting performance as the Silicon Valley icon. But the Steve Jobs we came to know over the past 40 years rarely puts in an appearance,” Dawn Chmielewski writes for Re/code. “The Hollywood version of Jobs will be barely recognizable to those in Silicon Valley who had a front-row seat for the dramatic arc of his life, from early success to humbling failure to improbable comeback.”
“Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin uses those actual events to take the audience on an imagined — as in, fictional — series of fast-paced exchanges in the minutes before the curtain would rise on the introduction of each product,” Chmielewski writes. “‘It deviates from reality everywhere — almost nothing in it is like it really happened,’ said original Mac team member Andy Hertzfeld, who advised on the film. ‘But ultimately that doesn’t matter that much. The purpose of the film is to entertain, inspire and move the audience, not to portray reality.'”
“Sorkin and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle say their movie seeks to portray a character who fundamentally changed the nature of modern communication, but whose interpersonal relationships were deeply dysfunctional,” Chmielewski writes. “‘That’s not real life,’ Boyle said in the press materials for the film. ‘It’s a heightened version of real life.'”
“The story is populated by events that never happened — such as a dramatic reimagining of preparations for the Mac’s demo in which it blows up in rehearsal, instead of declaring, ‘Hello, I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag’ — and long, stinging exchanges that aren’t drawn from any of the six biographies written about Jobs,” Chmielewski writes. “‘Steve Jobs’ is full of… entertaining put-downs that no one who joined Jobs backstage in the moments before a product launch had the temerity to deliver in real life. It’s almost like watching the cinematic version of revenge porn. It’s no wonder that Jobs’s widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and the folks at Apple are bristling ahead of the movie’s Friday release.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What’s worse than a bad Steve Jobs movie? One that plants fiction in place of fact and gets lauded for it. For example, the “Apple stole the GUI… What do you do?” screed as uttered by some invented “Woz” character; Woz would never say those things because those things are simply not in his nature nor are they true.
Anyone who knows even a little bit about Woz knows that whole puked-out mess rings jarringly false. Sorkin either didn’t know or, more likely, didn’t care. He got to concoct another little testy exchange between two fictional characters. If he put words into people’s mouths that never came out, words that would never come out, so be it. Poor Woz was likely railroaded quickly (they paid him $200,000 to consult on the movie) when he read that scene, if he even read that scene.
We fear that Apple, Jobs’ family and friends, and, yes, even we will now have to spend years constantly correcting the concocted “facts” implanted in the public’s imagination by this work of fiction, this excuse for Sorkin to scribble down some more of his insult dialog and for actors to spit it out in the hopes of receiving self-congratulatory statuary.
The Aston Kutcher flick will likely end up being far more accurate than this one. The theme that runs throughout this “Steve Jobs” movie is “It either never happened or it didn’t happen even remotely like that.”
And, yes, we understand artistic license. We also understand how fictions can be implanted as facts, and even be forced to become facts, by Hollywood movies. There never was a bridge on the River Kwai, but there is now (kinda, sorta), thanks to a Hollywood movie that made up that “fact.”
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Universal Pictures announces full cast of ‘Steve Jobs’ as biopic begins shooting – January 28, 2015
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Perla Haney-Jardine to play Lisa Jobs in Universal’s ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – January 6, 2015
Kate Winslet eyed for female lead in ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – December 22, 2014
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