Seth Rogen On Building a Sketch of Steve Wozniak in ‘Steve Jobs’

7 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’: The first reviews.

A weekend screening of Steve Jobs, a biopic about Apple Inc’s famous co-founder, drew high praise from some reviewers and suggestions that actor Michael Fassbender could be an Oscar contender for his portrayal of Jobs.The top tier critics won’t comment on the Telluride screening of Universal Pictures’ “Steve Jobs.” They’ll hold their reviews for the week when their readership’s interest is highest, just before the film’s Oct. 9 nationwide release. Speaking at the Telluride film festival, where his Aaron Sorkin-scripted biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is winning largely rave reviews, Boyle said that those in the movie industry had a responsibility to examine the import of people such as Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook creator who was the subject of Sorkin’s 2010 hit, The Social Network. “These films have to be made,” he said. “Benign as they may seem, they have created forces that are more powerful than governments and banks. It cited Wozniak saying he felt he was “actually watching Steve Jobs and the others” rather than actors and that he gave “full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right.” said the movie would “factor in the Oscar race,” and that Fassbender and Kate Winslet, who plays Macintosh marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, “dazzle with their fleet-tongued performances, unlike anything they have done before.” The Guardian, however, gave a more mixed review, suggesting it would mostly appeal to “the Apple geek”.

If you’re a dramatist with the character insight and verbal dexterity of Aaron Sorkin, you make him the vortex of a swirling human hurricane, the puppetmaster who kept all around him on strings, the impresario of a circus dedicated to the creation and dramatic unveiling of technological wonders that changed the world. It said Steve Jobs was “Boyle’s best film in years” and that “Fassbender excels.” But it said that while the movie “appears to be admirably unsentimental in its portrayal of Jobs, by the end we’re getting close to Apple-sponsored hero iWorship.” The movie, due to be released by Comcast’s Universal Pictures on Oct. 9, is expected to be shown at the New York Film Festival. Racing in high gear from start to finish, Danny Boyle’s electric direction tempermentally complements Sorkin’s highly theatrical three-act study, which might one day be fascinating to experience in a staged setting.

The festival screening occurred a day after the opening of Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, a widely reviewed documentary about Jobs directed by Alex Gibney. Our data.” The film is largely an interiors piece, unfolding in real time in the 40 minutes before three key Apple product launches: the Mac in 1984, the NeXT box in 1988, once Jobs has split from Apple, and the iMac in 1998, when he’s back in business with the company. Straining like mad to be the “Citizen Kane” (or at least the “Birdman”) of larger-than-life techno-prophet biopics, this is a film of brash, swaggering artifice and monumental ego, a terrific actors’ showcase and an incorrigibly entertaining ride that looks set to be one of the fall’s early must-see attractions.” Brooks Barnes, New York Times ArtsBeat: “As portrayed by Michael Fassbender, acting from a script written by Aaron Sorkin, Mr. Jobs is part genius and part monster, a man who seems to go out of his way to be cruel but who has a genius understanding of technology and marketing. We thought of the film as the sound of his mind.” The aesthetic of the three acts was, says Boyle, carefully delineated so as not to feel repetitious.

Jobs’s initial refusal to acknowledge that he fathered a daughter is a primary story line. ‘We don’t have time to be polite,’ he snaps to a colleague at one point.” David Ehrlich, Time Out: “Steve Jobs the movie is a lot like Steve Jobs the person: astonishingly brilliant whenever it’s not breaking your heart. Sorkin said he’d felt a great deal of anxiety embarking on the project. “[Jobs] is someone a lot of people have a lot of very strong feelings about.

It’s a bit like setting out to write about the Beatles.” His intention, he said, was akin to creating a painting rather than taking a photograph. “I didn’t want it to be a cradle-to-grave biopic or a piece of journalism. Instead of applying this banter to a linear series of events (or a direct adaptation of the Walter Isaacson biography), Sorkin structured the film in three major sequences that encapsulate the entirety of the man.

It’s extraordinary, and Danny Boyle directs the hell out of it too.” Gregory Ellwood, HitFix: “No disrespect, but at this point it goes without saying that Aaron Sorkin is simply an acquired taste. Sorkin spoke to key players in his research, including Lisa, whose paternity Jobs initially denied, and who his biographer Walter Isaacson had been unable to talk to, but said most of the dialogue was fictional. One scene in which Jobs rinses his feet in a lavatory was taken from truth, however – “gestural not slavish,” said Boyle. “And British films always have to have at least one scene in a toilet.” And a key line in the film – when Jobs asks Hoffman how it is they’ve never slept together – was also lifted from dialogue with Hoffman herself.

For Sorkin most of that notoriety comes from creating the classic TV series “The West Wing” or, more recently, the polarizing “The Newsroom.” He’s also, however, an Oscar winner for “The Social Network” and written acclaimed scripts for “A Few Good Men,” “The American President” and “Moneyball.” Sorkin specializes in an almost incessant intellectualized banter. It’s entertaining dialogue that can feel incredibly authentic one moment and arduously theatrical the next.” Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist: “A deliriously quick-footed and orchestrally pitched character study, ‘Steve Jobs” is an ambitious, deeply captivating portrait of the high cost of genius. The Danny Boyle-directed “Steve Jobs’ is a dazzling showcase of the brilliant, multi-layered, and rat-a-tat delivery of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. For all its dimensions of an iconoclastic, trailblazing thinker and digital revolutionary,“Steve Jobs’ is also a movie about fatherhood, absentee fathers, rejected children (Jobs was also adopted), and the price of committing yourself to a visionary way of thinking.” Eric Kohn, IndieWire: “With the exception of Daniels, who does his best in the limited role of a gruff businessman (“the man who fired Steve Jobs,” in Sculley’s own words), the cast vanishes into their parts.

Buried under makeup and a distinctive Polish accent, Winslet’s chameleonesque transformation is bested only by Fassbender, whose vivid expressions and constant movement turn him into a physical marvel. She misses him terribly.” Speaking about her lack of resemblance to Hoffman, Winslet said she’d first heard of the role through a make-up artist with whom she was working on another film in Australia. As Woz, Rogen could have easily devolved into the archetype of a bearded sidekick; instead, he’s a profoundly empathetic character passionate about cracking Jobs’ cold exterior.” B+ Alex Billington, “This isn’t the story of ‘tech innovator’ Steve Jobs that we all know already. Eager to be considered, Winslet dispatched her husband, Ned Rock n Roll, to buy her brown-haired wigs – then later donned one, with spectacles, and sent a selfie to the producer, Scott Rudin.

It’s something else entirely, an incredibly unique and brilliant creation that encapsulates decades of true stories and distills them down into one glorious three-act performance. Then your name will be shit and your career will go down the toilet.” Rogen, meanwhile, reported he’d done his first audition in eight years to play Wozniak but assumed he hadn’t landed the part. “I heard nothing for eight months and during which time i ruined the studio that was making the movie [after his North Korea baiting comedy The Interview triggered hackers to infiltrate Sony’s emails]. So they had to go somewhere else and I was a little worried that might affect things.” The actor also met his character, and found him, he said, more than happy to speak about his experiences. “His feelings towards Jobs were very complex and interesting. Part of it was taking it at face value and part was reading between the lines.” After the premiere on Saturday evening, Wozniak had reported been pleased with the results, saying that if he didn’t recognise some of the specifics, he felt the film did capture the sentiment. This is one for the ages.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian: “There’s undeniable craftsmanship here, especially in Fassbender’s confident and transformative performance, but Sorkin’s script fails to shout and quip its way to anything approaching dramatic vibrancy.

All cast and crew were united in their admiration for the actor, who they said they never saw look at the 200 page script on set, and who, according to Winslet, turned his “true white heat of fear into the most incredible determination we have ever seen.” Rogen echoed the sentiment. Watching Fassbender turn into Jobs was “horrifying at times … truly unsettling but it was also the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen an actor do.

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