“Steve Jobs”

Me and the wife watched the “Steve Jobs” movie the other night. It wasn’t quite what I expected. Was it good? Well, I enjoyed it. It’s probably worth a rental if it looks like the kind of movie that might appeal to you.

I was wary about the casting of Michael Fassbender, who doesn’t really look like Jobs, but that turned out not to be a problem because the movie isn’t really a biography. It’s more like a stage play: “Scenes From The Life of Steve Jobs.” As a matter of fact, it’s SO much like a play that I got the distinct feeling that Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the script, originally intended it as such. You could do a straight stage adaptation of the script without making any major changes.

I have no idea how accurate it is, but Fassbender did a pretty terrific job. I don’t know if this is what Jobs was like in real life, but I know that this is what other brilliant, creative people are like in real life: Their minds work so fast that nobody can keep up with them, and they come across as rude because they often get frustrated at having to stop and explain things to “normal” people. Jobs was famous for being exceptionally rude, of course, but his style of rudeness wasn’t out of the ordinary as geniuses go. Just think of how angry you get when you’re stuck in traffic behind an old grandma going about 20 mph below the posted speed limit— that’s what every second of every day probably felt like to Steve Jobs. He just happened to be far less restrained in expressing his frustration than most geniuses are.

The best moments in the film are the ones where the Jobs character is forced to interact with his daughter. Fassbender really delivers in these scenes — since his character is basically a beautiful spoiled child in a grownup’s body, it makes sense that the only person he’s able to connect with is another child. That was a nice touch.

Also worthy of note is that the movie takes pains to get a lot of the tech details right. Since it’s essentially a character piece, they could have easily dispensed with that stuff, but the fact that they focused on getting that stuff right really keeps the film grounded.

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