Steve Jobs, directed by Danny Boyle and written by the always divisive Aaron Sorkin. This is a film that is chalk full of Sorkin-esque dialogue, a wonderful visual style, and a cast of actors who never once miss a beat. Despite this film being very small in scope, Steve Jobs as a film delivers something memorable and attention grabbing.
The story in Steve Jobs unsurprisingly has to do with Steve Jobs, who this time is played by Michael Fassbender. But this is a film that very specifically focuses on three big points within a life that was filled to the brim with accomplishments. We start with the launch of the Macintosh, and then jump to the launch of his lesser known ‘Next’ computer, and finally we watch as he prepares to unveil the iMac. While this sounds limited in terms of how much we get to jump into the world of Steve Jobs it thankfully isn’t the case. Over the 2 hour run time of this film, I got a fuller sense of who the man was, and who the people were that surrounded him, perhaps more than any other TV show or film I’ve seen.
So I have to talk first about the writing and more specifically the dialogue in Steve Jobs – this is through and through an Aaron Sorkin feeling project. His noticeable style is perhaps what makes this film so engaging. Sometimes Sorkin’s style can become obnoxious or intrusive to the rest of the medium it is put within, but I’m glad to say that coupling the talents of Sorkin with the expertness of Danny Boyle is a match made in heaven. This film is fast – from the moment it gets going you have to be on board and ready to pay attention as it almost never lets up. This makes the film extremely engaging – I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and I didn’t ever want too.
The characters are of course smart, they’re witty, and they know how to have fun with the words they are using. This is what Sorkin does best, he makes the simple transfer of words into the most intense and watchable thing. There are no grand battle scenes or bone crushing hits, but at times it feels like it. The way Sorkin makes the discussion or should I say argument about the loss of a job or the lack of appreciation for some engineers feel like the most important thing you’ve ever watched is why Steve Jobs as a film is such an involving experience. I wanted more of the interesting characters having battles with words, and the film continually delivered it to me. My only real gripe with Sorkin’s writing is that the film does at times feel a little void of real emotion – characters are so quick and witty that sometimes it would have been nice to slow down and dive a little deeper into some heavier stuff.
Along with Sorkin there is also the director Danny Boyle whose style melds perfectly with. Things have a motion to them and the way in which Boyle seamlessly moves between varying time periods is a joy to watch. What’s also interesting is structurally how the film presents itself. For example the first act of the film takes place almost entirely in a dressing room. Characters come and go, varying plot lines take centre stage and then quietly move to the back and wait for their next turn. Everything just moves with such purpose and it never once lulled for me. This really is a film with an unrelenting momentum. What also aids the simplicity of the film is that Danny Boyle occasionally gifts the audience with some stunning visuals – visuals that reinforce an already engrossing story.
But the thing that director Danny Boyle did that I loved the most was the few moments in which he snuck in pure silence. Steve Jobs is a film that moves, like I said there’s a momentum to it, and so there are a few times when after the craziness of everything, Boyle injects a quick little moment of reflective silence – almost as if the film itself where trying to catch its breath. While these scenes don’t happen often, they are scenes that give the film the room it needs to keep going.
So Steve Jobs of course doesn’t only have a great writer and director at its helm, it also has some near enough faultless performances by a brilliant cast of actors. Michael Fassbender is someone who has in my opinion never delivered a bad performance and this film is no different. He takes his dialogue and delivers it with a delightful sharpness. What’s also great is that he and the other actors in the film connect and build upon one another. Kate Winslet, who plays Joanna Hoffman (Steve Job’s right hand women), has some brilliant back and forth battle of words with Fassbender. These two actors perhaps spend the most time together on screen and each time is as enjoyable as the last. The only thing I would say that was a misstep was Winslet’s Polish accent, an accent that sometimes was there and sometimes was not.
Fassbender is also joined by Jeff Daniels, who plays John Sculley (former CEO of both Pepsi and Apple) and the two have a particular scene in the backstage area of an auditorium, and for me it may be the stand out moment of the whole film. Both there characters go at one another and its brutal and addicting to watch – once there scene ended I felt exhausted for them, it keeps going and it’s so well done.
I also want to give a shout out to Seth Rogen who plays the loveable Steve Wozniak. He really surprised me with how great he was – gone are the tedious stoner jokes and his grating laugh, and in its place is a heartfelt and powerful performance by him. More of this Seth Rogen please.
Steve Jobs is a great film – while its structure is unusual and takes a little getting used to, I found it to be so much more engrossing than I first thought it would be. Also I would have liked to have seen just a little bit more of Steve Jobs outside of Apple, but that probably would have really hampered the pace and structuring of the overall film. All in all though, Steve Jobs delivered exactly what I wanted to see.
I’m absolutely recommending Steve Jobs. Even if you aren’t a fan of Apple’s technology I would still suggest you take the time to see this film.
So what did you think of Steve Jobs? Leave a comment down below and let me know. If you want to keep up with the rest of my ramblings that maybe follow me on Twitter,@GavinsTurtle. All that’s left to say I guess is I hope you have a good end to your week.