Presented Birdman-like as three separate acts behind the scenes of Jobs’s launch of three products – the original Macintosh in 1984, the NeXT Cube in 1988, and the iMac in 1998 – the film progresses as a character study of the charismatic yet alienating CEO credited with single-handedly crafting what is currently the most popular technology empire in the world. However, a human approach to the man behind the myth is employed to great effect here, with Fassbender’s performance lending gravitas and humanity to the role of a flawed man.
His performance was apparently so realistic that the real people involved, such as Steve Wozniak and Joanna Hoffman, felt like they were watching the man himself. Sorkin’s script is imbued with his trademark fast-paced dialogue, moving the story on efficiently, yet giving each scene wit and a certain ability to utterly retain audience attention. The scenes are almost constantly compelling, especially as Boyle expertly directs characters escalating into anger – a stand- out being the confrontation between Jobs and Daniels’ character Mike Sculley. The entire sequence was filled with back and forth dialogue written by Sorkin that lasted almost 10 minutes!! 10 minutes without any pause!!
Steve Wosniak is played dead straight (and very well) by Seth Rogen and one of his stand up battles with Jobs, as he tries to get him to acknowledge the vital importance of the work of the engineers who build the business saving Apple II, is a pretty fundamental exposition of Jobs’ cantankerous, unforgiving, deeply focused drive for perfection in the future; not the past. It’s electrifying. Same praise goes to Kate Winslet; I have high hopes for her getting another look at from the Oscars come the 88th Academy Awards. She was fantastic in her role as Joanna Hoffman; she brings life, character and humanity to so many of her roles and with that range of talent, she definitely delivered in this movie.
The dialogue of “Dialoguenist” (and yes, I just invented that word…) Aaron Sorkin really is what takes this film to another level. Sorkin is as versatile as he is brutal in honesty. He works wonders in this movie revealing the man behind the machine rather than the machine behind the man. Without any scenes of failure or success, Sorkin forces his audience to understand the complex and often times revolting central Character. With extremely well written confrontations between Jobs and Wozniak or Jobs and his Daughter or even Jobs and his Boss which I talked about earlier, Sorkin relentlessly demonstrates the true nature behind the tech giant. Though this movie’s central family tension and the Job vs. Apple drama are enthralling, Sorkin injects just enough dry and black comedy to keep the movie from becoming an influential figure’s shaming. With that being said Sorkin also understands that the enormous ego of Steve Jobs had to be exposed as a vice and plays on that brutal fact perfectly. The rapid pace of his dialogue may be hard to digest for many who are not used to Sorkin’s work, but I personally feel this gives the film a unique re-watch ability factor.
The film I found to be extremely interesting. Apart from the snappy and well written dialogue Sorkin is known for, the choices made in the film I found to be quite fitting. There was some really exceptional cinematography. An interesting stylistic choice Boyle made was that act one was filmed entirely in 16mm film, the second in 35mm, and act three in digital to give the film a real feel of technological progression. I’ve always loved Danny Boyle’s stylization in his movies, and that I thought was a fantastic choice.
The music in this movie is very interesting in some ways, and instead of the usual whirring sounds, they neatly placed band and orchestra music in too. Daniel Pemberton has done a amazing job at making this movie much more interesting than it already is. All the backstage music is accompanied by soft and stirring music, and that’s what really works in this movie.
Boyle and Sorkin focus on Jobs relationship between him and his daughter Lisa. And even if time-lines and events are shifted and invented, the final confrontations are moments of heartbreaking insight that reveal to us the segregating pain of creativity, its necessity and its elusive nature. For this Jobs reached for the stars and found the core of love amidst his life processor.
Steve Jobs gets an 8.8/10.