Universal has taken a cautious approach to Steve Jobs, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s unconventional biopic of the late, great groundbreaker. After select fall-festival pitstops, including Telluride and New York, the studio started screening Steve Jobs for NY and LA audiences, choosing to go wider this Friday, October 23.
As it turns out, Steve Jobs very much proves to be worth the wait.
I finally caught Boyle’s three-act history lesson at a local press screening, and eyeballed it specifically for its awards potential. After all, we’d already reviewed the film, and our own Nick Romano has been sharing insights from the cast and crew collected at the London press junket. But would the film really deliver on its Oscar promise? As it turns out, I likely was underselling the movie’s odds on my early Awards Blend charts… even though I had it in the Frontrunner slot in several key categories.
Steve Jobs strikes me as the type of movie that the industry will appreciate, though the general public might not. There’s nothing to warm up to in Boyle’s film, no hero to champion or mission to fully embrace. And yet, you can't take your eyes off of it. Using every word of Aaron Sorkin’s blistering script as a map pointing the way to a treasure, Steve Jobs dissects the career of Apple’s co-founder with the cold and calculated precision that went into his tech creations. Sorkin’s script, as is usually the case, brings out the best in the ENTIRE cast – from Michael Fassbender in the lead role to Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels in crucial supporting turns. Boyle’s direction isn’t flashy. In fact, he does very little, perhaps fearing he’d distract from Sorkin’s words, or the performances that are bringing them to life. But the pace on the 2-hour verbal sprint is masterful, and should be enough to land Steve Jobs nominations in numerous key Oscar categories as the marathon rolls along.
With that being said, here’s where I think the Oscar contenders sit on October 21:
The Dark Horses