Aaron Sorkin is probably the only (pure) screenwriter who is considered a household name. Or well, as close to as a screenwriter can be. His rocket-fueled dialogue, delivered by witty characters, in high-pressured situations, is one of a kind.
Of course, his linguistic talents are only as good as the conduits through which they travel: the director and actors. With Steve Jobs, his latest script, both are brilliant.
With Danny Boyle at the helm, Steve Jobs isn’t the standard, cradle-to-the-grave biography. It’s three-acts, each one focusing on the preshow upsets and confrontations prior to an Apple product launch. Although the past is referenced and sometimes shown, the film plays out in real time, with the characters running this way and that, problem upon problem arising.
Steve himself is played by Michael Fassbender, and actor who strikes near to nothing of a resemblance of the film’s subject. Yet, the actor who looks most like Jobs is arguably Ashton Kutcher and we all know how that turned out (or more accurately, we don’t, as no one saw his brutal Jobs).
What Fassbender does however is create the character almost from scratch. He becomes the elemental factors of Jobs, his intensity and charm. Fassbender isn’t here to do impressions.
Nor is anyone in the cast. Seth Rogen plays Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels plays Jeff Daniels. Neither has decided to put on a voice or do anything in particular with their hair.
Instead the performances are real, their emotions honest. Even Kate Winslet, who uses an accent to jazz up her performance, makes it look seamless.
Boyle has a natural kinetic vivacity, which pulses through the film. The camera is constantly moving, the editing fast, and all the actors burn off several hundred calories speed-walking around the set.
For a film that’s 94.1% dialogue, it’s remarkably watchable.
When the script, acting, and direction are all world-class, what else can you really say?
If you want to congratulate Rían on a Jobs well done, head on over to his Twitter.