A guy who caught last night’s research screening of Danny Boyle, Aaron Sorkin and Scott Rudin‘s Steve Jobs (Universal, 10.9) says it’s an Oscar-level knockout — sharp, fast-paced, whammo. And yes, it brings it home emotionally in Act Three. Best Picture, Best Director (Boyle), Best Actor (Michael Fassbender, who starts off as Fassy, he said, but grows into and physically becomes Jobs), some kind of Best Screenplay nomination for Sorkin (will it qualify as original or an adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s book?). And very high marks for Seth Rogen‘s punchy performance as Steve Wozniak and Kate Winslet‘s as Jobs lieutenant Joanna Hoffman.

The screening at Leows Lincoln Square began at 7:32 pm. Pic ran a bit more than two hours (maybe 128 minutes), the guy said, and it just nails it. A Rotten Tomatoes score in the 90s, he predicted. “The clarity, the lines, the delivery…everything is swift, fast and on point,” he said, “and the whole audience was really laughing. I haven’t seen an audience laugh that much in a long time.”

Boyle, Sorkin and Rudin attended, he said.

Everyone understands by now that the film unfolds in three acts as Jobs is preparing to introduce three revolutionary products — the original Macintosh in 1984, the NeXTcube in ’90 and the iMac in ’98. Boyle told this guy that the ’84 scene is shot on 16mm (really looks like the mid ’80s), the NeXT scene on 35mm, the iMac scene on digital.

Fassbender’s Jobs “is the best performance I’ve seen all year,” the guy said. “He just knocks it out of the park. He looks like Fassbender in the first two acts, but by the third act he’s really turned into Jobs with the turtleneck and the mannerisms and everything else.”

I never write about reactions to research screenings but as this one is overwhelmingly positive and I’ve read a draft of the script myself and know what this is anyway I figured why not — it’s all good news. I’m not going to speculate on festival exposure, but do the math.