Director: Danny Boyle
Staring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels, Micahel Stuhlbarg,
Running Time: 2 hours 2 mins
Release Date: 13th November 2015
You’d struggle to find somebody in the Western world who hasn’t heard of Steve Jobs, let alone his various Apple products. iPods and all it’s variants are firmly attached to our body like separate appendages and Jobs is seen like a Godly figure to so many tech lovers. With Steve Jobs being such an idol of creation and a public figure that held so much attention, it’s no surprise that Danny Boyle‘s latest flick, Steve Jobs, is the second film to be made about the main man.
The film isn’t told within the traditional narrative form of beginning, middle and end; opting instead to cherry-pick three major product launches, creating the narrative from said events and unveiling the central story line through the drama of backstage preparation. This method feels like it shouldn’t work, running the risk of losing audience engagement due to the simplistic, subdued form of story telling. Thankfully, the combination of Danny Boyle’s brilliant vision and Aaron Sorkin’s masterful script completely steers the film clear of being anything but captivating, gripping it’s audience from the very beginning and refusing to let go until the bitter end.
Boyle really does do a wonderful job of steering this huge Steve Jobs ship and there are delightful moments of visual engagement that scream his name. Instant recognition towards his previous work spills from many scenes, a particular highlight being a scene involving Jobs and Hoffman conversing in an unremarkable corridor. As Jobs is giving another one of his impassioned speeches, wonderful images cascade the curved walls of the corridor, scooping the audience up into an atmospheric moment of epiphany; soon finding ourselves believing whatever it is Jobs is saying.
Fassbender does a stand out job of embodying everything we’ve come to believe about Jobs. He transforms into this complex character with ease, proving his talents to be growing with each new performance. Fassbender does a brilliant job of conveying not only the development of Jobs, especially when related to his relationship with his daughter, but also relates the varied, eccentric sides to his personality. Whether we’re witnessing moments of absolute tyranny, such humor in his back and forth with Hoffman, unbearable patronising or even tenderness; Fassbender makes the character so overwhelming in the very best sense.
Alongside him, a varied range of top performances creates this incredibly impressive cast. Playing Jobs’ confidant and marketing executive Joanna Hoffman is the ever brilliant Kate Winslet, who’s character helps us see the softer side of Jobs, as well as representing much of what we’re thinking about the man himself i.e lighten up, man.
Seth Rogan gives an equally great performance as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Michael Stuhlbarg plays engineer Andy Hertzfled, Jeff Daniels appears as CEO John Scully and Katherine Waterston plays the troubled mother of Jobs’ daughter. Each of these tremendously written and played characters allow us to get an outside look at Steve Jobs, how he functioned as more than just the famous Apple co-founder; as a friend, lover, boss and father.
One of the films bigger side stories revolves around Jobs’ relationship with his daughter Lisa, played by Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss and Perla Haney-Jardine. It’s quite rewarding to see just how Jobs’ turbulent relationship with Lisa adapts, grows and eventually blossoms, especially after revealing his initial denial of paternity. There are moments where it feels as though the relationship is slightly forced to incorporate a sentimental ending but this mostly comes down to personal preference and it’s never enough to tarnish the stellar film as a whole.
The film’s ultimate triumph is the outstanding, punchy and completely addictive script from Aaron Sorkin. Every word of dialogue feels like shots being fired and as soon as you’ve heard one line, you’re desperate for another. Like a Western, each word fly’s from Fassbender’s mouth like a pistol and he won’t stop until somebody is dead. Sorkin completely outdoes himself and manages to make such heavy, constant, abrasive dialogue sound like poetry.
Scenes with Jobs and John Scully are particularly impressive, seeing how their relationship heats, cools and mediates. It’s so thrilling to watch as their meetings develop, from calming words of trust and wisdom to how their their fork tongues spit words of war at each other with such venom. Sorkin wowed with his work in THE SOCIAL NETWORK but this script is truly something all together masterful, an astounding example of how the right words can propel good film to a great film.
It’s with real bemusement that one hears STEVE JOBS has struggled to find it’s audience in the US, as this audience member struggles to find real fault with it at all. With a director who’s skill spills from each scene, outstanding performances and one of the smartest, sharpest scripts of recent cinema; STEVE JOBS is truly remarkable.