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segunda-feira, 19 de outubro de 2015
Lançamentos em filmes : Steve Jobs review: 'manically entertaining'
Danny Boyle's biopic of the late co-founder of Apple Inc is stunningly scripted by Aaron Sorkin and features a microscopically calibrated lead performance from Michael Fassbender
When Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer, was found dead from cyanide poisoning in 1954, a half-eaten apple lay by the side of his bed. Is it significant that Steve Jobs, the re-inventor of the computer, chose that very object as his company logo, complete with a fateful missing bite, when he started AppleComputer, Inc in his parents’ garage 22 years later?
“We just chose it off a list of friendly words,” the great man says, without much of a trace of friendliness at all, when a journalist quizzes him on this in Danny Boyle’s manically entertaining new biopic of the Apple co-founder. “But wouldn’t it be great if that was the story behind it?”
The riveting method behind Boyle’s film, which stars Michael Fassbender and was scripted byAaron Sorkin, is to turn Jobs’s chaotically varied but finally triumphant career into exactly that kind of great story. No coincidence is just a coincidence. Every detail tells us something about the mind that conceived it. Boyle, Fassbender and Sorkin have set about the process of creating art with the steely scrupulousness of master engineers – while the very film they’ve made insists on engineering as an art-form.
Were you to point out to Fassbender’s Jobs that a computer isn’t the same thing as a painting – as his perennially jilted colleague Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) occasionally tries to – the thought would be instantly shotgunned to smithereens. Throughout the film, Jobs likens himself to a great painter or composer, and when Wozniak asks him to define his hard-to-quantify role at the company (Jobs doesn’t write code or solder circuit boards), it’s art to which he turns for the perfect metaphor. “The musicians play their instruments,” he says. “I play the orchestra.”
Steve Jobs is split into three acts, each of which takes place backstage in real time before an Apple product launch. The opening section, set in 1984, heralds the arrival of the Macintosh – the squat, chirpy, all-in-one desktop computer that became the company’s mascot throughout the Eighties. Then the film skips forward to 1988, by which point Jobs and Apple have parted ways, and the unveiling of his new creation – the monolithic and unlamented NeXT – and finally to 1998, where lies the iMac, vindication, and the first taste of domination to come.
The wildly different atmospheres of every time period are hard-coded into the film’s fabric. Daniel Pemberton’s neck-prickling score moves from digital bleeps and throbs to orchestral swagger and finally brooding electronica – while cinematographer Alwin Küchler shoots the first act on rough-and-ready 16mm stock, the second on creamy, glamorous 35mm, and the third on fridge-cool digital.
In a brilliantly Boylean flourish – one of the few on show here; the director’s work hasn’t felt this disciplined since his 2007 science-fiction thriller Sunshine – each of the first two sections ends with the film strip itself apparently spluttering free from its moorings, while the third arrives on screen in a rainbow-coloured burp of pixels. It’s a thrillingly neat way to illustrate Jobs’s central role in splitting our recent history into definable eras – and while the iPod and iPhone both fall outside the film’s ferociously tight remit (as do any number of other milestones, from Pixar to pancreatic cancer), Sorkin’s script anticipates them both as cunningly as a Marvel superhero movie foreshadowing its own sequel.
As with most Sorkin-scripted films, the chief pleasure here is watching a terrific cast perform Olympic-standard verbal gymnastics without a safety net. That each scene plays out against a countdown to showtime only heightens the tension, with figures from Jobs’s professional and private lives blustering in and out of the picture at the worst possible moment.
It’s pure contrivance, but Sorkin largely manages to defuse it with a Fonzie-like shrug. “Five minutes before every launch, everyone seems to gets drunk and tells me what they really think,” Jobs mutters towards the end of act three, and the line draws a knowing laugh.
Katherine Waterston gnaws at the film’s leg as Chrisann, the mother of Jobs’s eldest daughter Lisa, whose paternity he crushingly denies in the opening act. A rarely better Kate Winslet, meanwhile, plays Jobs’s unflappable marketing guru Joanna Hoffman, who tethers both him and the film to normality, and in doing so becomes both of their secret weapons.
As for Fassbender, his performance is so microscopically calibrated to catch your eye and heart, you suspect even his famously exacting subject would be a little overawed. On a surface level, it brings to mind Jesse Eisenberg’s turn as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network – another larger-than-life Sorkin creation made plausible through astonishing actorly diligence. But there’s a subtle, slow-building warmth here that makes this film feel wholly distinct from David Fincher’s icy gaze into the Facebook founder’s soul.
It all stems from the brief encounters between Jobs and his daughter Lisa. He doesn’t realise it at first, but the world he’s building is hers, and her transformation from unwelcome distraction to reluctant muse is what ultimately gives Steve Jobs its substantial emotional kick. Boyle’s film makes technology warm-blooded, and reminds us that every machine has its ghost.
Steve Jobs has its UK premiere at the London Film Festival on October 18 and will be released in cinemas on Friday 13th November