Speaking of Steve Jobs, there was a thing that happened at Universal’s Telluride after-party that I’ll never forget. The reactions to Danny Boyle‘s film following the 9 pm screening were up and down, this and that. Outside of the glad-handers, nobody I spoke to in the immediate aftermath was 100% about it.
I knew as I approached the gathering at 221 South Oak I knew I’d have to be careful not to say anything too candid. But I nonetheless found myself speaking quite honestly to First Showing‘s Alex Billington, and I soon realized he felt as I did, to wit: Jobs was a good, respectable, well-acted film, but it wasn’t very likable.
Boyle, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, costars Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, three or four Universal publicists and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak were right nearby but we were cautious and careful. We kept our voices down to a murmur.
The small party began to fill up, and then Hollywood Reporter award-season columnist Scott Feinberg walked in and I went “hey, Scott!” and motioned him over, and without giving the invitation a moment’s thought Scott smiled but at the same time shook his head and went “noooo…no, no” and kept on walking toward the rear of the restaurant.
“What was that about?,” Billington asked.
“He doesn’t like the film any more than I do,” I speculated, “but he doesn’t want to discuss anything with the filmmakers standing ten feet away. He probably figured I’d challenge or debate him and he doesn’t want to do that within spitting distance of Seth Rogen. He’s just being careful.”
Acknowledgment: Now that I think back on it, it’s possible that Feinberg didn’t actually say “noooo…no, no.” But his aversion to discussing the film as well as his body language (i.e., refusing to even stop for a second, fearful of even a brief exchange of words) was a very assertive expression of a “no, not now” attitude. So it’s possible I added the “noooo, no no” in my head.