It was only two years ago that we were given a bio-pic about Apple founder Steve Jobs (starring Ashton Kutcher in the lead role). That film, titled Jobs, was slaughtered by critics and was quickly labeled as forgettable, coming off like a made for TV movie. Now, coming from a script penned by the “walk with me, talk with me” long winded but brilliantly worded Aaron Sorkin, Danny Boyle is aiming to wipe the memory of “Kelso Jobs” from the minds of everyone. The question is with that film only a couple years behind us will the general public even have the patience to give it a chance?
Certainly the caliber of talent in Danny Boyle’s Jobs is enough to make some heads turn as we see one of the best actors currently working in Hollywood today, Michael Fassbender slip into the guise of Steve Jobs. His voice and mannerisms are all pitch perfect as he plays beautifully off of his co-star for the majority of the movie, Kate Winslet.
No slouch herself and equally as commanding of an Oscar nomination as Fassbender is, Winslet plays Joanna Hoffman, Jobs’ marketing executive and essentially his long time right hand person and absolutely disappears into the role. Adopting Hoffman’s Polish accent, Winslet is almost unrecognizable in the role until you get a good shot of her face within the first ten minutes of the film.
Rather than start at the beginning and do a linear chronological story of Steve Jobs life, Boyle and Sorkin decided to tell the story in three pieces. Starting with the Mac launch in 1984, the film continues on to the 1988 launch of Jobs’ other company NeXT and then finishes with the iMac launch in 1999. It seems like they’re skipping out on a lot but the story is well told and gives you a great feeling for who this innovating genius was.
Within these three pivotal events in Steve Jobs life, Danny Boyle gives interesting cross cuts to events that led to the creation of Apple, conversational moments between him and former CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) and the tenuous relationship with co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen). The results is a well paced and epically interesting film that leaves you satisfied, even with a pretty bumpy exit.
Boyle crafts such an interesting film around this entirely dialogue based film. Some beautiful looking wide shots from Sunshine cinematographer Alwin H. Küchler play beautifully, detracting from the talking head style that could have easily hampered this film. I really have to give it to the composer Daniel Pemberton, who earlier this year did The Man From U.N.C.L.E. score and gives Steve Jobs a very Apple infused theme that was absolutely astounding.
I do have to address the “bumpy exit” because it’s the one thing that hold the film from perfection. The underlying plot point for the film is Jobs’ always troubled relationship with his daughter, whom he never admitted was his despite a paternity test that proved ninety four percent effective. In a hope to seemingly salvage the audience’s better opinion of the man in question, Boyle gets a little regretful and wistful with the ending and it feels a bit Slumdog Millionaire heavy handed.
This is just a relatively small gripe as the big picture of Steve Jobs is a fantastic bio-pic, made in a time where these films are incredibly hit or miss. Heading into awards season, this film is one you’re going to want to check off early as the performances are well worth the admission. I really liked Steve Jobs, but instead of buying an iPhone I’ll just give it a five out of five.