Steve Jobs

by | Oct 26, 2015 | 0 comments

Finally A Worthy Film of the Silicon Valley Legend 

Steve Jobs is one of the most revolutionary figures in history. He immersed the world into the technological age, something so innovative that the world is still adapting to it. It only makes sense that a proper film be made of such a character. There have been various failed attempts like Pirates of Silicon Valley in 1999, and Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs in 2013. There was even a documentary this year: Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, which attempted to craft the complex character, but it was unable to give us an unbiased big picture. Only Walter Isaacson’s biography “Steve Jobs” has been able to offer us the rawest and most honest look at the legend, and finally a film of the same name seems to do it justice.

Steve Jobs is Aaron Sorkin’s and Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Isaacson’s novel. It takes three stages of Jobs’ life and arranges them as if they were three acts of a play. All the acts take place backstage before the launch of one of Steve Jobs’ (Michael Fassbender) new products, and all at crucial points in his life. I once said that the best way to make a biographical film was to focus on one event of the subject’s life and not try and tell his or her entire story. This film goes beyond any of the two structures I was describing, and in doing so it is successful and refreshing. The first act of the film takes place in 1984 and deals with the Macintosh computer. We see as Jobs struggles with little bugs on the demo and quarrels with… well everyone: Andy Hertzfeld an engineer (Michael Stuhlbarg), John Sculley Apple’s, then, CEO (Jeff Daniels), Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple (Seth Rogen), and the mother of his unwanted child Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterson). Jobs is only able to calm down when he listens to his voice of reason, here in the form of Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet). The next two acts are the launch of the NeXT computer in 1988 and the launch of the iMac in 1998; the same characters revolve and appear in these acts as well, so much that they end up being a bit redundant by the final act.

The movie is as much a psychological drama as it is a father-daughter story. The film mostly revolves around how Jobs goes from rejecting his daughter Lisa (played by Mackenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Pela Haney-Jardine consecutively through the acts) to finally accepting her. It’s a subtle sub-plot placed there by writer Aaron Sorkin that ends up being the main theme of the entire film. What I most like of Sorkin’s screenplays are the rapid-fire conversations and the ubiquitous smart-ass comment exchanges between the characters. His films and episodes end up being so intense that you almost feel like you’re holding your breath throughout; that intensity is so high that the two-hour film ends up feeling incredibly short, as if you hadn’t even hit the one-hour mark yet. While Sorkin has credit in this time-shortening achievement we mustn’t forget director Danny Boyle’s hand in this either.

With the cast that Boyle had at his disposition it was hard to conceive a disappointment. Among all the stellar actors the two that stand out are Kate Winslet and, of course, Michael Fassbender. Winslet, like her character Joanna Hoffman, is of the few that is able to keep up with the intense speed of the film and still make sense of her lines. Michael Fassbender completely sinks into his role becoming Jobs, he doesn’t hold back and he gives us the irritatingly rude persona that Jobs was known to portray. But what greatly pleased me about Fassbender’s portrayal were his subtle details when interacting with Lisa. Deep down you could tell that Jobs knew that Lisa was his daughter and that he loved her.

Overall the film is an incredible artistic feat, with great acting and a snappy script. I only had the slight drawback of redundancy in the backstage characters, so that it was too coincidental that the same people kept popping up. However, the great cast and leadership behind the screen along with the eerie and pulsing soundtrack from Daniel Pemberton makes this the long awaited screen tribute to the man, the myth, the legend: Steve Jobs.







Historical Accuracy

What is your favorite inventor movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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