Steve Jobs


Director: Danny Boyle.
Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, John Ortiz, Adam Shapiro, Sarah Snook.

“They won’t know what they’re looking at or why they like it but they’ll know they want it”

With The Social Network in 2011, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin managed to strike a chord with critics and audiences by making a film about Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg an improbable success. Sorkin went on to win an Oscar for his writing but, personally, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. This time Sorkin is at it again by focusing on Apple Inc. co-founder, Steve Jobs and if this film is anything to go by, I really should give The Social Network another chance. Throughout the 1980’s & 90’s, entrepreneur Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is at the epicentre of a digital revolution. His ingenuity drives him to the forefront of digital technology but the impact his innovations have on the changing world also cause personal and professional internal conflicts.When this film was first announced, I struggled to see what the appeal was. We’d already had Ashton Kutcher take on the role in Jobs in 2013 and that’s a film I had (and still have) little desire to see. As much as I often have my nose stuck to my iPhone (which is also the very device that I write this review on) and can appreciate the technological inventions that Steve Jobs has been involved in, he’s not a man that piques my interest. What did grab me, however, was the abundance of talent involved in this project and the fact that Fassbender can do no wrong these days.To be honest, I expected the film to be a slog but it didn’t turn out that way. Straight from the offset, Danny Boyle hits the ground running and doesn’t stop for the entirety of the films 2 hour duration. There’s an impressive kinetic energy to his direction and Boyle deserves applause for managing to turn a fairly generic story into something exciting. It’s not just Boyle that’s on form here, though. Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue laden script fizzes with gripping conversations and Fassbender delivers an absolutely towering performance. It’s a demanding role that requires Fassbender to be onscreen at all times and considering he doesn’t stop talking, this (by his own admission) was a real challenge for him to remember his lines. Quite simply, his Oscar nomination is thoroughly deserved. It’s increasingly looking like it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s year with his work in The Revenant but where DiCaprio displayed a physical performance, Fassbender’s is a very wordy one. As their work are polar opposites, it’s difficult to choose between them but it would be wrong to begrudge Fassbender a nod such is the effort he puts in. It’s a tremendous achievement. The strong supporting cast in Winslet, Rogen and Daniels also deliver fine work and cannot be overlooked with their overall contribution but, ultimately, it’s Boyle, Sorkin and Fassbender that really bring the film to life.Jobs is depicted as an inventive genius but not an entirely likeable one and that’s the mantle upon which the film rests. It’s an astute and unflinching character study and although some (or most) events are fictional the film’s drive is to explore both the man and the myth. In doing so, Boyle and Sorkin employ a three act structure that focuses on Jobs before and during each launch of his latest product. Act I is about the arrival of the Apple Mackintosh in 1984, Act II, the introduction of the NeXT Cube in 1988 and Act III, the world changing iMac in 1998. Boyle also cleverly approaches these three acts by shooting them with different film; 16mm, 35mm and then digital to capture the changing times and the influence of technology. Fassbender also wisely doesn’t try to mimic Steve Jobs; as this is predominantly a fictional retelling of the events in his life, it’s less about capturing Jobs as a whole and more about exploring the contradictory nature of a flawed visionary. For a man who’s products brought the world together, he struggled to maintain personal connections with those closest to him. It’s this irony that makes for an intriguing psychological portrait.Much better than I expected it to be. In fact, it has no right being as entertaining as it is. Not that I ever questioned the talents of Fassbender, Boyle and Sorkin but it just goes to show how well a film can come together when all the ingredients are in place.Mark Walker

Trivia: David Fincher was originally attached to direct but his demands couldn’t be met by the studio. Fincher also wanted Christian Bale to play the lead role. After his departure, Danny Boyle signed on to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio was approached before passing on the project.

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24 Responses to “Steve Jobs”

  1. Nice review Mark. It’s unfortunate that few saw this because Steve Jobs ended up being one of my favorite movies of last year. Both Boyle and Sorkin do top work behind the camera and I think this may have Fassbender’s best performance to date. When will that man win an Oscar?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a shame that many have overlooked it, Charles. I nearly made that mistake myself. As it goes, it turned out to be one of my favourites from the year too.

      Fassbender was superb wasn’t he? I thought DiCaprio would be a worthy winner at the Oscars but the more I ponder over it, the more I think Fassbender deserves it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always impressed when people tell me they compose their reviews on their phones. That’s crazy to me! Kudos.

    I really really liked this movie too, it had such an energy to it, sustained 100% by conversations and the relationships Jobs had (or sometimes the lack thereof) with those around him. Coupled with the fact that Seth Rogen absolutely impressed me, I counted this as one of my favorites of 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The iPhone has always been my blogging friend. It’s actually not as hard as many people seem to think.

      With you on Jobs, though. I count this as one of my favourites too. I didn’t expect it to be but it was a solid piece of work and everyone involved made a contribution.

      Like

  3. Spot on with this mate. I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from it either but it was really absorbing. I could watch Fassbender recite the phone book, but I actually thought Rogan did a pretty good job here too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s nothing The Fass can’t do these days. He’s on solid form at the moment and this is a prime example of his talents. This really shouldn’t have been a solid as it turned out to be. I enjoyed it very much. Cheers Chris! 🙂

      Like

  4. I really liked this too and you’re right, it is better than it has any right to be. Mind you, with Boyle and Fassbender on board it would struggle to be that bad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true, man. Boyle and The Fass are always worth watching but a story about Steve Jobs didn’t hold a lot of appeal beforehand. Those two and Aaron Sorkin’s script really bring the whole thing alive, though. Solid entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review! I actually didn’t like this movie as much as i expected to…in fact…i was a little bored at times. Regardless, tremendous acting in this. Fassy is always great in whatever he does tho!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Courtney. It seems I was the opposite to you. I didn’t expect much from it and ended up loving it. With you on the acting, though. Everyone was great but it’s Fassy’s show and no mistake. He’s outstanding!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like Fassbender and Winslet are pretty solid in this movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I keep hearing such good things about this, and would really like to see it should I come across it. Hopefully soon. Great review Mark!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of my favourite films of 2015…I was disappointed it bombed at the box office but I can understand why; like you I didn’t have that much enthusiasm beforehand about it, but I was really glad that I saw it. On the one hand it’s a series of conversations against the backdrop of the product launches, but it’s fascinating to see all these working/personal relationships Fassbender’s Jobs has with people and how they alter with time. Another good job by The Fass, and thought the supporting cast was pretty good.

    I can’t believe you write your reviews on the old EyePhone! Fuck that for a game of soldiers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was really taken aback by how solid and entertaining it was. The Fass was outstanding and I’d really love to see him take the Oscar for his work here.

      I do indeed write my shit on the iPhone. I’ve done everything on it since day one of blogging. In fact, I’ve never used anything else. It’s all I know. I’d probably struggle to do a post any other way.

      Like

      • Impressive stuff! I hate typing on mine, it does my head in.
        Fassbender’s in nearly every scene here, isn’t he? I thought Winslet and Seth Rogen were pretty good, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Winslet and Rogen were great and I thought Daniels was strong as always but I struggle to think of a scene that The Fass wasn’t in. It was some amount of dialogue he had and he delivered with aplomb. Fassy for the Oscar!!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like this is worth seeing just for Fassbender. I couldn’t stand Jobs and I can’t stand anything with a freaking apple on it, but you’ve convinced me to actually give this a shot 😉

    Like

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