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Movie Review: “Steve Jobs”

It can be hard to accept that our heroes have flaws, and for as long as I can remember, Steve Jobs has been a hero of mine. To me, Jobs represented all that I love about America and life:  that each and every one of us has the power to put a “dent in the universe” as he put it on numerous occasions. For this reason, I loved “Jobs” (2013) as it memorialized the late Apple cofounder and largely brushed over his less than savory qualities. Over time, I came to realize that however comforting, this was not an honest—or at least not complete— portrait of the man I so revered.

It is in this sense that “Steve Jobs” (2015) is such a triumph. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” and  “A Few Good Men”) and director Danny Boyle (“The Social Network,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) manage to pay homage to the tech titan without ever mythologizing or idealizing. They are frank about his many shortcomings—as a father, colleague and friend—and illuminate the personal demons of a man who was in life and remained after death elusive. Sorkin’s Jobs is manipulative, superior and supremely hubristic while remaining the visionary design and marketing genius who built Apple into an international power.

Dialogue is the star of “Steve Jobs” as with any Sorkin production, and it features many Sorkin trademarks such as walk-and-talk and ping-pong dialogues and long character-driven orations, though none are diminished by their inevitability as is the explosion in every Michael Bay film, for instance. The diction of Jobs in conversations with those closest to him provides a window into the psyche of the enigmatic genius and the many snappy retorts in response to him are some of the most memorable moments of the film. Michael Fassbender (Jobs), Kate Winslet (Joanna Hoffman), Seth Rogen (Steve Wozniak) and Jeff Daniels (John Sculley) all deliver career performances, and it would not surprise me if Sorkin and Boyle, both previous Academy Award winners, have another on their hands.

“Steve Jobs” is a must-watch for disciples and detractors of Jobs alike, and none will leave with a view of Jobs unchanged.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


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