“Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.”
You are talking about a roller coaster ride when you discuss the up and down production of this unique biopic about the businessman who changed the microcomputer industry forever. Through a script only Aaron Sorkin could give us, fast paced with no time to catch your breath, you are taken in immediately into the life of Steve Jobs, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, who gets his core life told through endless Sorkin-esque dialogue through specific product launches in Jobs’ career. Also starring are Seth Rogan, Kate Winslet, and Jeff Daniels.
Danny Boyle brings his signature energy to a film that doesn’t go far beyond stages and backrooms as he delivers vibrant shots and kinetic camera work to have us floored by the brutally honest telling of Jobs’ life and the relationships he garnered. Immediately, you are brought to the world of Jobs with a quick realization that he was very much human. Imperfect through his desires for perfection, you discover where his priorities and mindset derive from. I myself did have an expansive knowledge on the man beyond the obvious details of him being such a revolutionary in the computer industry, but what I was given to let me in on who he was proved to be devastatingly disappointing, and the acting brought it to a view we can all emotionally stick with.
The role was up for some of the best in the business such as DiCaprio and Christian Bale and while I think Bale would have been the ideal choice, Fassbender proves why he is in the same rankings as the aforementioned talents above. Minus a few scenes where you hear Fassbender’s German accent slip out, you are sold on him becoming this arrogant, neglectful being whose pride and obsessions cloud his “normal” life as a person, but the real stand outs for me were Kate Winslet as his respected assistant and original Apple member Joanna Hoffman while the other star for me is Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak.
Winslet is the actress we forget is top tier due to her subtly when she takes on roles, but this was a role she clearly sunk every canine and molars into as she was nearly flawless as the humanistic side of Jobs along with being his anchor. The steady force of Jobs whimsical career and life were possible through Winslet’s character and because of how much she cared and that’s why she shines. Seth Rogan, though not in the film as often as you may have wanted, is also superb. Comedic actors tend to have this polar side to them that allows them to take on drama like it was nothing and Rogan proves that ideology to be true once again. He is not this bumbling pot head that he normally is, but a victim to being the silent hero, and it hits you like a Mack truck full of old computers, but Jeff Daniels again this year proves to also be a force in the acting world as he has proven in The Martian this year.
Nothing about this film is slow and it’s two hour run-time goes by quickly thanks to the constant flow of the stories being told, but it may not be your dad’s biopic or one you’d expect. The style is unique and successful in the stories the film is telling of this polarizing figure and that is what makes the movie so good. Sadly, they don’t go into many of the other accomplishments he had, but to be fair, the film would have then been four hours long. Some characters you really enjoy are only in scenes for so long and are then gone afterwards, but that doesn’t take away from the film. It’s a film you will enjoy the first and second time you watch it, but it is dialogue strong rather than pulse pounding drama. Think of David Fincher’s The Social Network but locked into three separate times of Jobs’ life and you have Steve Jobs.
It is endlessly quotable and will have you going, “Mmmmhm” quite a bit and will floor you with its dialogue and acting by some of the most talented actors in the business today.