I was hoping Ashton Kutcher‘s performance as Steve Jobs–in the film that just premiered at Sundance–would be a rousing success that would reveal a lot of textures Ashton hasn’t been able to show in the mindless tripe he’s usually cast in.
That could still be the case–I’ll keep my mind as open as my laptop–but according to one scathing review of the film, Demi Moore can sit back and chuckle because this is one Jobs that won’t lead to other jobs.
“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.
“However, where the film completely falls down is in director Joshua Michael Stern‘s disastrous decision to cast Ashton Kutcher in the central role. ‘I knew I was throwing myself into a gauntlet of criticism,’ Kutcher said at the premiere, ‘and this became the most terrifying thing I have done in my life.’ His fears have been realised. 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.
“Happily, there’s hope ahead for a better cinematic retelling of Jobs’s life: Aaron Sorkin, the writer of The Social Network, is planning his own film about Jobs. It will focus on three scenes, each filmed in real time, and set in the minutes leading up to one of Apple’s major product launches.”