Steve Jobs (2015)
Director -Danny Boyle
Writers – Aaron Sorkin
Starring – Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslett, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
Rating – R (Language)
Genre – Drama
Metascore – 82/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 85%
This film takes off as soon as you sit down in the theater. You can almost taste the combined energy of Danny Boyle (127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) from behind the camera and Aaron Sorkin (the Social Network, The Newsroom, Moneyball) penning the screenplay. These guys are the absolute best at what they do and as a result we have a tremendous biopic that captures the enigma that was Steve Jobs.
The movie is written in three acts, portraying Steve before three individual product launches and his interactions with the most important people in his life. It does not attempt to hit all of the big moments in his life. Rather it attempts to capture the true character and person of Steve Jobs. It is not pretty; it shows his ego, his neurotic tendencies and how he treated the people around him. The film is uniquely written and incredibly theatrical. It is impossible for this movie to not feel like a Sorkin picture because the dialogue is so quick, witty and very smart. The interactions between Steve and his colleagues and family, while distinctively portrayed, can seem slightly set up and predictable. This comes at slight disadvantage for the film but the idea in itself outweighs the disadvantage and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Sorkin even acknowledges this trope when Steve says “Why does everyone I know seem to get drunk and come argue with me five minutes before each product launch?”
The cinematography, editing and score for this film are fantastic. The score has already received a Golden Globe nomination and it feels as though it reflects the mind of Jobs, hitting the high beats and lows. It feels almost binary and electronic at times but spins into a full blown orchestra at other times. The editing reflects the blazing pacing of the movie. It is constantly in movement and reflects the true speed of the information that we receive. The first product launch was shot on 16mm film while the later ones are filmed on 35mm film. This ages the film well, allowing you to recognize the difference.
Michael Fassbender is continually picking great roles and absolutely slaying them. The three movies in which he has acted in this year are contenders for top 10 of 2015. As Steve Jobs he oozes egotistical genius and captures every part of Jobs, especially his tone and inflections. At moments I forgot I was watching Fassbender and all I could see was Jobs. Fassbender was rightfully nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, and will be a true contender for an Oscar. His costar Kate Winslett also gave an outstanding performance, receiving a Golden globe nomination as well. Seth Rogen stood out, taking a serious role and owning the persona of Steve Wozniak.
Overall my only critique is the limiting nature of the writing by forcing certain confrontations with certain people. This was not something that could be escaped but only slightly hindered its success.
TLDR – The trio of Boyle, Sorkin and Fassbender deliver a biopic with a mass of flair and energy supported by the like of Winslett and Rogen making this a top 10 film of the year. (most likely, the year isn’t up)