Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998... Read allSteve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
On the film's highlights - Fassbender leaps off the screen in the first two minutes and never lets go. He looks nothing like Jobs himself did but he perfectly captures the frustrating ego that everyone loathed and matches it with high spirit and a bit of humour. His condescension is so real that we snarl at it. Winslett also makes her mark very early on, nailing an accent and vanishing into the part of Johanna. Her chemistry with Fassbender is palpable. Seth Rogen crushes the role of Steve Wozniak, a casting choice I've been thrilled about since 2014, nailing the low self-esteem and nervous ticks of the nerdy genius. Watching Rogen perform we can see his anger but also the slight plea for their friendship to endure. We all know that one friend who feels like they're doing us a favour by being friends with us, and watching Fassbender and Rogen banter back and forth we can see it in real time. Jeff Daniels rounds out the four-person highlight as Apple's CEO, and truly stands out as a great supporting player.
Probably the most talked about feature of Steve Jobs is the three-act narrative filmed in different styles. Its been reported on a million times and all I'll say is I loved it. The transition between the three events are also clever, montages of real media reports and pictures. There's even a very cleverly used Simpsons gag that helps inform the audience. I also loved the playful score and the cinematography that emulates the walk and talk of the West Wing.
The screenplay is Steve Jobs' greatest aider and abetter. The film's best scenes are written masterpieces - two fights between Jobs and Wozniak in particular take your breath away, a harsh comment where Jobs cuts down his 5 year old girl's beliefs are harsh, the recurring references to Jobs' adoption are clever and the two Andys joke is a nice funny recurring gag. However, Sorkin's screenplay at times feels like a textbook, and with so many words floating around its easy to lose track of what's happening. Some of the lines of dialogue are so pretentious its easy to get taken out of the film. It's also annoying to see Sorkin recycle his classic Sorkinisms "Don't talk to me like I'm other people" and "well one day you'll have to tell us how you did it". When you've seen them a couple of times, they lost impact right where they're needed most. Sadly, Sorkin starts to get too smart for his own good.
I didn't care much for the story arc Jobs went on. He is vehemently opposed to being Lisa's father and hurts the little girl by saying the computer was not named after her. Then all of a sudden he's a caring father and the girl's mother (played wonderfully by Katharine Waterston) is portrayed as the film's villain. In the final act, Jobs has a very clunky reconciliation on the rooftop and says things that simply don't fit right with the story.
There's a lot of talent involved in this movie that I really wanted to love. Fassbender and his co-stars all do exceptional work and Sorkin delivers a number of wonderful scenes, but at the end of the day I can't help but walk away feeling like Jeff Daniels' character, mourning for the things that could've been achieved.
- Dec 30, 2015