The new Steve Jobs biopic, starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple co-founder, is now out in US cinemas — but critics are less than impressed.
Here is what the media are saying about Jobs:
“It would drive Steve Jobs nuts to know that the new movie about his life has all the sex appeal of a PowerPoint presentation… After a while, you don’t care.”
“Directed by Joshua Michael Stern (“Swing Vote”) and written by first-time screenwriter Matt Whiteley, Jobs confuses the story of Apple, the company, with the story of its guru and guiding force, spending way too much time on backroom personnel dealings than on encounters that might help us understand, on a deep level, the title character.”
“Jobs is the equivalent of a feature-length slow clap.”
“A just-the-facts — and fiddling-with-the-facts — dramatisation, forgoing any kind of deeper psychological exploration of the man and his motivations, his demons and dreams.”
“If Stern turned this product in at Apple, Jobs would have taken a big steaming dump on it and handed it back to him and no-one would be able to tell what was the turd and what was the movie.”
“It’s a heroic story, but Matthew Whiteley’s episodic, superficial script makes an almighty mess of it. Early on, when Jobs dumps his pregnant girlfriend and then refuses to recognise his newly born daughter as his own, he is established as unlikeable. Yet while focusing on Jobs’s professional rise and his brutally demanding working practices, Whiteley gives us no insight into Jobs’s Buddhist beliefs, or his capacity for love and tenderness.”
And what about Kutcher’s performance?
“Ashton Kutcher is perfectly convincing as Jobs from his first minutes onscreen. He looks like him, walks like him, and he gets into his skin. He looks at people the way Jobs looked at people, arrogantly, quizzically, skeptically, often amused but not especially friendly.”
“Kutcher does a couple of things well, aping Jobs’s guarded, tight-lipped smile and familiar, half-hunching, half-bouncing gait, even if at times they seem more like ill-fitting mannerisms than expressions of Jobs’s driven personality.”
“Kutcher has an advantage in the role with his passing resemblance to Jobs, but he also faithfully re-creates some of his character’s physical mannerisms for additional dimensionality. He manages a fair imitation of Jobs’ speaking style as well, particularly when delivering a number of monologues, usually while haranguing his employees or board of directors.”
“The poverty of his skills as a serious actor is on full display. His diction is incoherent. He clumsily signposts every emotion he thinks his character should feel: smug smiles for triumph; exaggerated scowls for disgust; nail-biting for anxiety.”
“Mr Kutcher doesn’t have the tools that some actors use to transcend weak material and either he didn’t receive any help or didn’t allow any real direction from Mr. Stern. Mr. Kutcher’s tendency to cap so many emotional scenes with small, self-satisfied smiles is especially unfortunate because they can’t help but bring to mind his other career as a pitchman for digital cameras.”
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