I will be there for a biographical film about that man. But first let’s talk about Steve. So yes, another Steve jobs film. Actually there has only been 2 biographical films so far: this one and Ashton Kutcher’s 2013 Jobs, all the other ones are all documentary films (PBS’ 2011 Steve Jobs: One Last Thing, BBC’s 2011 Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy, 2012’s Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview and lastly, 2015’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine). So it is quite possible that the general audiences is fed up with Steve but I highly doubt that general audiences even saw half the films listed above. I rather think it’s due to the fact that Steve’s name is thrown around so much that it’s hard to think of a time when Steve Jobs was a faint memory. And that is why this movie didn’t do well in the box office, people were fed up with this name and it’s really too bad because this film was just a great watch and done well.
First off, the screenplay was done by Aaron Sorkin (he did The Social Network) and it’s great. Secondly, the screenplay is also inspired by Walter Isaac’s 2011 biography of the same name and that book was a good read as well. And lastly, it’s Danny Boyle. What could go wrong?
This film is solid. From the cast to the direction, this film is alive and a real slice of life of Steve Jobs and what he went through to get to where he did. That being said, it largely depends on the audience and their own motivation to come to this film. If you were like me, and were coming in to witness another Sorkin screenplay, to see how Isaac’s book was being adapted and how Boyle was going to direct this genius during conferences, then you’ll be fine.
However, if you were coming in hoping to learn more about Steve Jobs, you will learn more about him but the narration does not pander to those who are not informed previously. With Sorkin’s screenplay, we are thrown in the thick of it; three conferences pertaining to Jobs’ career. People come in and out and introductions are not really made as everyone in the film has been working with each other for years. Motivations are not really explored. So if you knew about the launch in 1984, 1988 and 1998 and also know who Steve Wozniak is, then you’ll be fine. The problem here in terms of marketing for this film is having people who know about that sort of stuff but at the same time are interested in what I was interested in coming into the film. I highly doubt many people in the general movie-going audience know enough about Steve Jobs want to see how Sorking/Boyle pull it off again.
Anyway, I digress.
The cat is great. Fassbender and Winslet are really great here. Their chemistry is just great and authentic. You can really feel who these people are through their performance. Fassbender plays a Jobs really well as he seems to got all his mannerisms and attitude down and people around him play it off really well. Jeff Daniels and Michael Stulberg foil against Jobs really well as they are much calmer and are more down to earth than the genius Jobs. Out of the entire cast I would say Seth Rogen is the weakest link, in the sense where he just brought himself to the screen and didn’t really act in a way that was different to his other roles.
The narration is interesting as well where I felt it was like Birdman times 3 but at different plays. I say that because this entire film takes place backstage as Jobs prepares for his keynote for that conference and people come in and out and their conversations ranges from technical specs to personal issues that needs resolving. I’m pretty sure this is a a dramatization cause it would just be nuts for him to deal with so many personal issues while at the same time dealing with so many things going potentially wrong. But despite all that, it still feels authentic and that’s the magic to this film as you are so sucked into the world of Jobs and his problems that you just go along with it.
This is getting long but I end it here. Steve Jobs is a solid film if you know what you are going into it for.