“Jobs” is a celebration of values, while “Blue Jasmine” wallows in bad values and no solution
Ashton Kutcher is terrific in “Jobs,” but the true stars are the geeks who look like angelic children from another planet: Josh Gad (Steve Wozniack), Lukas Haas, Ron Eldard, Nelson Franklin, Eddie Hassell.
They are not famous, but they represent the creative mind at work and at play. They are the intellectual pool from which Steve Jobs got his ideas. And creativity is what this film, directed by Josh Stern and written masterfully by Matt Whiteley, is about. The creative process and how suits can destroy a living creative force like Apple Computer.
Watching Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) direct and manage his group of underlings is stimulating for anyone — especially if one is in the arts. The moneymen want to kill Jobs’ desire to make the best product possible and only focus on the bottom line. At one point Jobs is fired from Apple by John Scully (played with perfect spinelessness by Matthew Modine), who he hired because he trusted this man would have his back.
The cutthroat world of technology is portrayed with what seems to be a frightening accuracy. Twice out of necessity and with a well-earned exercise in revenge, Jobs fires men who had supported him early in his career. Delmot Mulroney magnificently portrays Mike Markkula, the treacherous man who both discovers and tries to destroy Jobs. You will cheer Jobs’ triumphant return to Apple.
When Jobs is considering his return, to help the ailing company, and is walking through the hallowed halls of his beloved Apple, he asks a cherubic-looking geek he has never met but who now heads a department: “Why are you still here?”
The geek fumbles for words. Jobs can see this talented employee is not being used for his innovative genius but rather his rudimentary skills. “OK,” Jobs says, “I want you to stop what you are doing and create something meaningful and original.”
Jobs’ interest in product and creation are what make this film fly. You will leave the theater feeling you have just watched a collision of values and you feel so much cleaner and uplifted for it.
Which brings me to “Blue Jasmine.” Written and directed by Woody Allen, it might just as well be called an homage to Cate Blanchett, who portrays a tragic figure whose disintegration is due to her disease of alcoholism. Other actors perform magnificiently — save Alec Baldwin, who stomps through his performance; Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale and Sally Hawkins are standouts. But all the hypocritical noise and publicity about Blanchett is due to Allen’s publicist running the show.
In fact, it should be written that Blanchett who has starred as the queen of England in “Elizabeth, The Golden Age” and some 57 films, condescended to be in an Allen film. Allen’s PR has placed the importance of players backwards. A bit of misogyny at work. Allen would have no film without Blanch