"Jobs" Doesn't Work

All wrong. (Image courtesy Universal Pictures)

All wrong.
(Image courtesy Universal Pictures)

Russ Mitchell writes for the LA Times:

Getting all the facts right needn’t be a priority in a product manufactured by the entertainment industry. To elevate itself beyond a mere moneymaker and approach a work of art, though, such a film must capture the main character and the times he lived in, and make it all believable in spirit and in tone.

I interviewed Jobs several times and I’ve covered the technology industry for decades. For me, “Steve Jobs” fails to capture the essence of Steve Jobs. It’s not even a very good movie.

Actor Michael Fassbender portrays Jobs with simple, one-note relentlessness. Aside from a few violin-heavy scenes with his young, out-of-wedlock daughter, the Steve Jobs in this movie is a nonstop jerk. Fassbender is a fine actor — and, from what my female colleagues tell me, a “babe.” But he can’t capture Jobs’ charisma.

For most of the movie, Fassbender’s Jobs looks like just another handsome white guy in a corporate suit. His carriage is all East Coast IBM executive. There’s none of the Reed College-attending, LSD-eating, guru-seeking past that gave Jobs his groovy California vibe. His passion in the film is all f-you willpower. There’s no positive energy in it.

For all his talent, Fassbender was the wrong guy to portray Jobs. And for all his talent, Aaron Sorkin was the wrong guy to write the screenplay. As for director Danny Boyle, he really should have known better.

It has to be possible to capture the creative genius/sometimes monster, but I can’t think of anyone in Hollywood today up to the task.