The bigger story in this dramatization of Steve Jobs’s life-as-a-series-of-product-rollouts is that Aaron Sorkin has such a substantial degree of control within the world of film, compared to his dominion within the various sound stages of network television; because creators of programs for the small screen, which is no longer an accurate term (in a physical sense) for that medium, separating writers from the large screen of cinema versus those for the more diminutive, bulbous, glass-with-faux-wood-cabinetry windows into national and regional programming for, respectively, game shows, soap operas, car chases, football games, situation comedies, police procedurals, and commercials for mattress stores, hearing aids, diapers (for newborns and adults) and sellers of discount electronics; the fact that the screen now fits in your pocket, enabling you to watch The West Wing or The Social Network, obliterates the vocabulary of prestige and power within Hollywood.
Still, the differences in status remain the same.
So, while Sorkin is the father and chief writer of a fantasy president, elevating Martin Sheen to the Oval Office by unanimous consent of the executives at NBC and through a majority of the popular vote from the TV equivalent of the Electoral College known as the Nielsen ratings, there is a political division between this fictional White House and, in the daylight and desert heat of Burbank, California, the dissolution of a writer’s capital when he accepts the chance to pen a script for the silver screen.
Aaron Sorkin is the exception.
He is an outlier.
He is, like it or not, that which he decries: The Steve Jobs of screenwriting.
He is the 1984 Macintosh, at once singularly iconic and, with its modular design, self-enclosed, black-and-white monitor and beige-colored exterior, in addition to the recessed space (at the top, on the backside of the machine) for easy handling, a toy.
Aaron Sorkin is a film studio’s toy.
Expensive, exclusive, offensive (to his critics) and defensive (upon the collapse of his own “reality distortion field”), Sorkin is, in his own way, a rotten apple.
If only this Indian summer in Los Angeles would end, Sorkin could wear a black mock turtleneck from Issey Miyake, a pair of Levi’s® 501 jeans and a set of New Balance 990 sneakers.