There has been a lot of criticism from people inside of Apple hurled toward Danny Boyle’s biopic Steve Jobs, a somewhat unflattering raw nerve portrait of the Apple co-founder, including stories that Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs tried to block the biopic entirely. It has been criticized by current Apple CEO Tim Cook and Design Chief Johnny Ive, the former calling the movie “opportunistic,” with the latter comparing it to a hijacking of Jobs’ legacy. Both statements were made before either party had a chance to see the movie for themselves, prompting a fairly defensive response from writer Aaron Sorkin.
In a situation like this, in which someone who was lost so recently and was so beloved by the people closest to them is being portrayed in a movie, it’s natural to see such reactions. People who knew Steve Jobs have very real, very personal memories of the man. Good or bad, these memories are theirs and any retelling of these memories by someone else is always going to cause some tension. As well, we are as humans instinctively defensive of the legacies of the people we love. The reactions from the people at Apple today tell us one thing: that Steve Jobs was loved.
But does that mean that the Sorkin-scripted, Danny Boyle directed Steve Jobs is an inaccurate portrayal of one of the greatest technology entrepreneurs in history? Not necessarily. Sometimes the truth is irritating. And as Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak (portrayed by Seth Rogen in the film) explains in this new featurette, there’s a great deal of nuance to be explored when it comes to the legacy of Mr. Jobs. Wozniak, who was there with Jobs from the beginning, was a consultant on the film, lending additional credibility to the stories it’s telling. It’s clear that he believes in the work that Sorkin and Boyle have done. Painful or not, this is how his memories of Steve Jobs play out. It’s up to history to decide what is and isn’t important.