Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Sarah Snook, Michael Stuhlbarg, Perla Haney-Jardine, Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo.
Director: Danny Boyle
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin
I don't know why I waited so long to watch Steve Jobs. I think the answer lies in the basic lack of discussion around it because if there is anything Jobs likes more, it's advertising the crap out of anything he is involved with. How can the production created by both Sorkin and Boyle not be good? Luckily I didn't have to answer that because it lives up to both of these mens abilities in order to honour the ability of the man who created art out of a personal computer.
The structure of this film is smart, set backstage around three iconic product launches in Jobs' (Michael Fassbender) career; the launch of the Macintosh, the Black Cube, and the iMac. An onslaught of frantic backstage banter where everything in Job's life is being thrown in his face that somehow like fate is brought up before every launch; the relationship between his daughter Lisa (played by Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine, respectively) and her mother Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston), Wozniak (Seth Rogan) demanding acknowledgement for his work on the Apple 2, the mighty tension of Job's vision as it opposes everyone else, and the one woman keeping Jobs in check and ready for getting on that stage, Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet).
The structure is smart because it allows his products to be front stage and centre. Jobs while liked the idea of the money his company can make he was only willing to make it if his vision was being sold. This is a perfect structure because if you want to tell Jobs story tell the part he is most proud of—a sad truth that gets quite delved into in Sorkin's many monologues. Jobs used these launches to sell a lifestyle, the unchangeable technology that has been made perfectly for exactly what you need; you just don't know it yet.
But beyond the product comes the man himself and this film is not afraid to show just how difficult this man can be. It is two hours worth of Jobs rubbing everyone the wrong way. In every occasion he hurts his daughter by rejecting her, not knowing how to respond to her questions or communicating on her level, and threatening to not pay for her Harvard tuition because she let her mother sell her house. He makes sure that everyone near him get their fair share of the emotional abuse he is willing to dish out. Yet somehow this does not stop you from loving him—that may just be from the fact that he bought my soul a long time ago (I am typing this out on my MacBook Pro while checking twitter updates on my iPhone 6).
Even though he can be despicable somehow he is allowed to be. I am not forgiving the man for his horrid treatment of literally everyone around him but by truthfully depicting him this way allows you to view in awe of this man who never allowed someones opinion change his views. And it also comes from Fassbender's impeccable performance, he is glorious as Jobs and having Winslet to bounce off makes this beyond any biopic; it is an art piece. This would be a great play, but it is a better movie as Boyle allows you to feel that you are in the centre of this moment, you are backstage with Jobs and Hoffman, in the thick of it.
The first act is so exciting as you feel what he feels; that excitement of the time where the personal computer could be any company's win you just have to have the computer that people will want in their homes. It is exciting even if you know the outcome because that little talking Macintosh changed computing—even if you didn't realise it until 20 years later.
This is a stunning piece of drama, the 3 part act allows you to handle the crazy amount of dialogue—even if my ears were ringing from the lack of silence. Fassbender and Winslet are at the top of their game and so are the men behind the camera.