Fiction hints at truth in ‘Steve Jobs’

Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) refuses to acknowledge Lisa (Makenzie Moss) as his daughter, but he loves the way she responds to his other baby, the Apple Macintosh computer, in “Steve Jobs.” (Francois Duhamel/Universal Pictures via AP)

Daily Journal

Immediately after I left the theater, someone asked my opinion of “Steve Jobs.”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Let me think about it a while.”

Well, I’ve done some thinking.

It’s a fast-paced movie without a single car chase. The movement is created by writer Aaron Sorkin, who knows how to get the most out of a conversation.

Michael Fassbender plays Jobs, the larger-than-life tech giant behind Apple computers. Jobs has a vision that he refuses to relinquish, no matter what his friends, employees and bosses say.

There’s no denying the success Jobs had as a businessman and creative genius, but “Steve Jobs” offers a look at the emotional rubble in his wake.

How much of this movie is true?

That probably depends on your definition of “true.”

“Steve Jobs” takes place in the minutes before major product launches. There’s one in 1984, when the Macintosh computer is unveiled, and one a few years later when Jobs has a different company, NeXT, and later still, when he’s back at Apple with the iMac.

Before each launch, he has deeply complicated conversations with important people in his life.

I doubt those moments happened as depicted, but I suspect the fiction tells a relatively honest story at the heart of Jobs’ relationships with his old friend Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), his one-time boss (Jeff Daniels), his highly put-upon assistant (Kate Winslet) and the daughter he initially refuses to acknowledge (Makenzie Moss at 5, Ripley Sobo at 9 and Perla Haney-Jardine at 19).

A “reality distortion field” supposedly surrounds Jobs, as he pushes people to do things they never thought possible. It’s easy to imagine all the birthday parties and graduations Apple employees missed in order to achieve their boss’ dreams.

“Steve Jobs” the movie has its own “reality distortion field.” It gives us all these moments that manage to feel right, even if they probably didn’t happen.

With that said, this movie is missing something. Director Danny Boyle and Sorkin have delivered an engrossing action movie built entirely on emotions, but they’ve left out too much of their subject’s life.

In short, I think there’s more to tell.

I give “Steve Jobs” a B.

It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, and Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

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