Finally, a Steve Jobs movie that Steve Wozniak likes

8 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Finally, a Steve Jobs movie that Steve Wozniak likes.

The computer pioneer, who probably knew Apple co-founder Steve Jobs professionally better than anyone, says Fassbender’s portrayal of the late icon in Steve Jobs is spot-on – even if the two don’t look or sound alike. “I saw a rough cut and I felt like I was actually watching Steve Jobs and the others,” Wozniak told Deadline. “Not actors playing them, I give full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right.” In the movie, which debuted to raves last week at the Telluride Film Festival, Fassbender plays the mercurial Macintosh genius. NEW YORK • A weekend screening of Steve Jobs, a biopic of the Apple co-founder, drew high praise from some reviewers and suggestions that actor Michael Fassbender could be an Oscar contender for his portrayal of Jobs.

Kate Winslet, who stars as Jobs’ confidante and work associate, thoroughly impressed Wozniak – he said he thinks she’s the movie’s best contender for the film industry’s highest awards. — Actor Seth Rogen made his first-ever trip to Telluride (for the film festival or otherwise) this year as a representative of Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs.” In the film, the comedian plays Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, the brains behind many of the engineering innovations that led the company to dominate the home computing market. Festival-goers lined up hours early and ultimately filled the Palm Theater to capacity to see the British filmmaker and the third film that he has unveiled here in the Rockies — particularly in light of the fact that the previous two, 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire and 2010’s 127 Hours, both wound up with best picture Oscar noms (and Slumdog won). It described the movie as a “terrific actors’ showcase and an incorrigibly entertaining ride that looks set to be one of the fall’s early must-see attractions”. His introduction came right after a 30-minute reel of highlights of his work — composed of scenes from Shallow Grave (1994), Trainspotting (1996), 28 Days Later (2002), Millions (2004), Trance (2013) and, of course, Slumdog and 127 Hours.

At the outset of a Q&A about his career moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy, Boyle cracked that he rather likes Steve Jobs’ approach of not acknowledging the past — but that he would happily make an exception on this evening to discuss his films. Critical reception at Telluride was so positive that Fassbender is rumored to be a serious contender for this year’s Best Actor Oscar, according to Variety. Boyle tackled questions about the films that made him want to become a filmmaker (“Apocalypse Now was a huge inspiration”), his struggle to get anyone in the industry to take him seriously (he cited rejection letters from David Puttnam and Alan Parker), the use of music in his films, how he’s shot his films all around the world, how much he enjoys working with actors (and how his background in the theater taught him to work with them) and all sorts of other things. But what people were most interested in hearing about was Steve Jobs, the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film (adapted from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography) that has been in the news ever since its planning stages, details of which were revealed in private communications that were made public through the Sony hack. “It’s so different from the stuff I’ve done before,” Boyle said, noting that the dramedy, which was shot in San Francisco, has none of the quick cuts and energizing music with which he is largely associated.

First they play at Telluride, a small gathering of industry elite, critics and fans, and then immediately go to the Toronto International Film Festival. He kind of talks to everyone like they’re computer engineers, in a way, and that was something I thought was interesting, just as far as the delivery of the dialogue goes. After one rapid-fire exchange between Fassbender’s Jobs and Sorkin-favorite Jeff Daniels’ John Sculley, an audience member screamed with glee, “Sorkin!” Additionally, the live-wire, almost theatrical feeling of the film, most of which unfolds in long scenes set at three different presentations given by Jobs over the years, is trademark Boyle.

And the acting is all first-rate — Fassbender obviously gets and seizes plenty of moments to shine, and Winslet and Rogen also have standout scenes opposite him. For one, most people by now pretty much know Jobs’ story: his adoption; the early Apple days in a garage; his jerk-ish tendencies with family, friends and coworkers; his firing from and return to Apple; etc. (Sorkin, as always, finds interesting things to throw in there that are less familiar, but he tackled a very different sort of person with this film than with, say, The Social Network.) Additionally, Fassbender looks nothing like Jobs. Boyle forewarned that “It’s not really an impersonation film — it’s more of a gesture film,” but one can’t help but surmise that if Jobs had gone through life looking like Fassbender, he’d have been a much happier — if also less professionally productive — fellow.

An e-mail crossfire between former Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin over the biopic was revealed from a hacking attack on the studio last year. Indeed, one can only imagine what it must have been like for him to direct a film about a guy who, for better or worse, had an Apple where the rest of us have a heart. It’s not an accurate representation of what she looked like; her hair‘s yellow, her skin is pink — it’s not an accurate representation of what she looked like. The Gibney doc will inevitably prompt discussions about anything that Steve Jobs didn’t get exactly right, even though the narrative film’s makers always have acknowledged that they took liberties with the historical record (just like the closing scene of Argo, for instance). At the moment, I would say that the film is on the bubble for picture, director, lead actor, supporting actor (for Rogen), supporting actress (for Winslet, who plays marketing exec Joanna Hoffman), adapted screenplay, cinematography (Alwin Kuchler) and music (Daniel Pemberton) noms — and that things could tip either way in each of those categories.

You know, when Woz says at the end of the movie, “Why don’t you respect me,” and Jobs says, “Because you don’t respect me,” I think that’s true. The bottom line is that it feels too early to make calls about this film with any degree of confidence — we first need to see what else is out there.

Wozniak’s genius came from his technical abilities and his engineering abilities, something that Jobs had little to zero of, and I think that is probably part of the source of conflict and that’s something I could put into the performance, the idea that Wozniak doesn’t really understand why Jobs is impressive. But, and me and Fassbender would always talk about it, if the rhythm was, like, microscopically off, the scene didn’t work at all, and not until it completely clicked into place did it function. It can be perfect and when it isn’t it can be — and I can’t think of an example where I’ve seen of this, but just in the process of making the movie there’s moments where you’re like, “That could not sound more like two people saying stuff that was written for them.” And then when it clicks in it’s like, “Oh, no, it sounds like an actual conversation that people would have.” As we were doing it I was just, like, blown away by it. During rehearsals sometimes at six o’clock it was like, “Great, let’s go hang out.” And he was like, “No, I’m going to go read the script three times.” Because he had to just absorb it. So if it’s hard to make a movie with car chases exciting, it’s even harder to make a movie with people walking around a theater saying things to each other exciting.

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