I have an Apple watch. When I raise my wrist and spin the Digital Crown, my watch “time travels” into either the future or the past. My next appointment changes, the current temperature changes based upon forecasts and with a simple push, everything snaps back to the present. Steve Jobs, the man, could do that same thing. Seemingly at will, he could look into the future, see what was going to be, and then snap back to the present to build it.
Real artists, the inescapable ones, have that quality — the ability to crystallize a moment in time, be it the past, present or future and transcribe it in their respective medium for the world. Jobs was an artist who worked in silicon, aluminum and glass. Writer Aaron Sorkin, known for his work on “The Social Network,” “The West Wing” (which I’ve finally started watching now that I’m living in D.C.), and “The Newsroom” is an artist who paints with witty, fast-paced dialogue has composed one of his many masterpieces. “Steve Jobs” is set in primarily three scenes — backstage before the original Macintosh launch, backstage before his NeXT launch and backstage before the launch of the iMac. It’s a unique structure, but it serves the intent of the story brilliantly. This is a story about the complicated, visionary Steve Jobs, not about the company he willed into existence. This isn’t a story about the company Apple. As much as you might expect to have the product launches be the turnkey scenes, the actual stage presentations are omitted — because on-stage Steve Jobs was not representative of the troubled, compulsive, yet undeniably brilliant Jobs that this story, based on the biography from Walter Isaacson, is telling.
Speaking of artists, director Danny Boyle, best known for his work on “Slumdog Millionaire,” brings a fantastic vibrancy and believability to an unbelievable story. His partnership with the lead actors, all of whom deliver spectacular performances, is evident. The combination of Boyle’s direction and Michael Fassbender’s performance really did invoke the “Reality Distortion Field.” There were a couple of moments in the film that I forgot I was watching a movie. I thought, if only briefly, I was watching a live stream of the real Steve Jobs backstage. That is something special, and no mistake.
Unfortunately, I jumped the gun buying my tickets to “Steve Jobs” because of an AMC Stubs contest that offered Apple products as a grand prize. I didn’t win. Regardless, “Steve Jobs” isn’t playing in Hays, and that’s unfortunate because it’s the only movie I saw this week. If and when this movie comes to Hays, it’s a must-see. It’s unique, brilliant, harrowing and focusing — much like Jobs himself was.
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