jOBS, the biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who became a celebrity because of his love for design and the ruthlessness in his work — debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. The reviews have mostly been of mixed nature.
The movie features Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. If you still haven’t got a glimpse of the movie, you can watch the one-minute teaser right now.
In terms of acting talent, I guess everyone agrees that the cast has done a brilliant job in portraying characters well. It is a tough job to perform biopics because people tend to relate to the real person. Josh Gad, though he may have been working from an impressionist’s idea of what Steve Wozniak was all about, translates with heart and warmth. Woz is not portrayed as a bumbling, clueless geek, but rather a very smart and mischievous man who knew exactly what he wanted from his partnership with Jobs, and exactly when he needed to end that partnership.
As far as Kutcher is concerned, he has been great as well. So, even if you are a big Apple fanboy and you have heard hours of videos of Steve Jobs speaking, you can still be happy about the performance that Ashton Kutcher has delivered.
But the picture is not all that shiny. There are many who are attacking the film for wrong portrayal of historical facts. Also, if you have read the biography, you will notice a lot of important things missing. But I guess that’s how it is.
Here is what people are saying:
“Kutcher’s Jobs has the hunched, rolling gait of the man, and the kinetic nature of his hands. His flat, piercing stare and clipped delivery works almost perfectly throughout. Even if you’ve spent an enormous amount of time listening to or watching Jobs, you’ll be impressed with his overall performance. There were a few moments where he dropped out of cadence in his speech and such, but the impression that I got on the whole is that he got it right.
I know that his performance as Jobs will get a lot of attention, especially as there are many alive who still have their memories of him fresh in mind. But it’s a fantastic, if not wholly factually accurate, performance by Kutcher.”
“Only Gad, as Wozniak, gets a scene standing up to the great man — as Woz quits Apple, he criticizes Jobs for losing his humanity amid a single-minded pursuit of making great products. It’s something even Jobs’ staunchest admirers have to wrestle with, and the film could have used more of that.
Others will write of the things “jOBS” omits, gets wrong, or simply avoids. My primary disappointment was in how shallow the film felt, given the extensive historical record. In the early days Jobs’ co-workers had to wrestle with a man who smelled bad, who cried often, who yelled constantly, who missed deadlines, who overspent his budget by millions. … There is great drama to be found in all that, but it is not to be found in the saccharine ‘jOBS.’”
“The production and costume design are astounding, and it’s not just Kutcher wearing nearly every iconic Jobs outfit (the suspenders, the bowtie, the turtleneck, etc) throughout the film. The filmmakers were able to use Jobs’s childhood home — the legendary “garage” where Apple started — and it really sells the first third of the movie to see it around the iconic location. The offices and fashion play to each era — big glasses, bigger hair, slacks worn high — even if it isn’t necessarily what the individual actually wore in real life. Woz may never have worn that tie, but someone in the 70s did.
The movie is littered with small details of lore that should make Apple fanatics happy.”
jOBS releases on April 19th. Mark your calendar!