Review: Steve Jobs
A triumph: The film about the man who changed the world.
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The world’s friendliest smartphones. Creative computers. Millions of songs in our pockets.
Steve Jobs truly revolutionised the technological landscape that we live in today, so it’s easy to imagine why creating a film about him may be met with initial hesitation.
Apple fanboys are notoriously some of the most dedicated users in the world. Known for queuing up round the corner just to get the latest release before anyone else, this attraction (and Apple’s attention to detail) have caused many people to leave the Steve Jobs project – including David Fincher (initially enrolled to direct the film), Christian Bale, Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper. In the end, it was down to Aaron Sorkin, Danny Boyle and Michael Fassbender to lead the parade.
Unlike previous films about Jobs (namely Ashton Kutcher’s biopic in 2013), this release focuses on three major keynotes in Jobs’ career (launch of the Macintosh, launch of NeXT and the launch of the iMac in 1998) with major plot points being introduced within the 40 minutes prior to the keynotes. As unrealistic as it may seem, many of the storylines are historically accurate (Sorkin hired Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak to aid with accuracy) and, as Sorkin and Boyle recalled many times during the film’s Press Conference, this release is a dramatization rather than a biopic.
Sorkin is known for his quick style, with long tracking shots and intense dialogue between characters. Jobs is no different, with Sorkin pulling off his master skill at writing, creating dialogue which is truly believable. This, mixed with Boyle’s creative directing (managing to mix actual scenes with stock footage and emotional visualisations in a way which many other directors could only dream of) makes for an engaging and fascinating 120 minutes.
As with Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs (and the Kutcher biopic), the film isn’t too kind on the innovator. Steve Jobs is shown as a mean figure (especially in regards to his relationship with daughter Lisa – who he initially denies as being his) and a perfectionist, to the point of annoyance (spending thousands of dollars to ensure that a computer tower is truly cubed).
However, regardless of this ‘mean spirit’, Fassbender’s Jobs is truly mesmerising. Without even looking like the iconic man, Fassbender has managed to encapsulate all that Steve Jobs was – his demeanour, his energy. You can’t help but keep your eyes focused on the leading man and he truly completes the role with the dignity it deserves.
Boyle does a good job at making sure everybody has ‘their scene’ – with Seth Rogan’s Steve Wozniak seen having explosive scenes with Jobs and Kate Winslet’s Joanna Hoffman (Job’s assistant in the film) bringing out the softer, sensible side to the character. In fact, after Fassbender, it most definitely is Winslet who steals the show. The way she graces the screen and her relationship with Jobs is truly outstanding.
Furthermore, Jeff Daniels’ also shines in his role as Apple CEO (and former Pepsi-Cola President) John Sculley.
Whilst many of Steve Jobs’ friends and families has shouted out as to how the Steve Jobs in this movie is ‘not the same Jobs that I knew’, it is still a triumph of a film. Sorkin, Boyle and Fassbender have pulled off an eye opening piece on one of the world’s most inspiring (and controversial) leaders and it’s a ‘Must See’ for those Apple fans or not.
With two solid films about Steve Jobs now out of the can, hopefully we can now focusing on enjoying his legacy rather than attempting to re-enatic it.