No matter how impeccably acted and well-made a biopic may be, there will always be calls to attention of their inaccuracy to the real events, and director Danny Boyle’s recently released Steve Jobs is no different. These accusations have largely been conflated with the unconventional structure that Aaron Sorkin’s script applies to Jobs’ life, which zeroes in on three keynote addresses and condenses information into these tightly compact segments to create a personality portrait of the notoriously difficult inventor.
According to The Playlist, Sorkin likened his imagined telling of Steve Jobs’s story to that of a play, and while being interviewed on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith he said, “It’s the kind of thing that happens on stage all the time, but which we’re not as used to in movies because movies are a much more literal artform.” One particular scene that has been singled out as an invention of Sorkin’s is the ending, where Jobs reconciles with his estranged daughter Lisa just before unveiling the iMac.
The film’s writer reasoned that, while the scene is inspired by their actual reconciliation, he wrote it because he felt this was the right way to conclude the father/daughter relationship at the heart of the film. “I can’t make an entire movie this cold, I’ve got to reward the patience of the audience somehow, I’ve gotta get you to like this guy,” he explained.
These questions of accuracy pop up all the time with historical films, most prominently in the last year with the release of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, and the answers given by the filmmakers almost always echo Sorkin’s: these changes are made to fit the story being communicated through the film rather than as hard historical facts. Films don’t have to be documentaries to convey the impressionistic truths they strive toward.
(via The Playlist)