Monday, October 26, 2015

[Review] Steve Jobs


"Go put a dent into the world, Steve."

People are probably getting burnt out on films that classify as biopics, but a lot of the ones released this Fall have actually been pretty good. Now, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin bring us an engrossing and almost operatic piece on Apple Founder, Steve Jobs. And it isn't a typical biopic.

The film is essentially three clear-cut acts that all unfold in real-time. The first one looks at the behind-the-scenes events leading up to the public launch of the Mac computer. So it involves Jobs (Michael Fassbender), his assistant (Kate Winslet), and engineer (Michael Stuhlbarg) frantically smoothing out the glitches. There's also some drama between Jobs, his ex-girlfriend, and his daughter (whom he refuses to acknowledge as his). The second act delves into Jobs' initial split with Apple and his bouts with co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogan) and CEO (Jeff Daniels). The third details Jobs' return to Apple, the unveiling of the iMac, and the company's major growth. To put it succinctly, it's all a shitload of arguing.

Say what you will about Aaron Sorkin, but he is a screenwriter that is masterful at wielding around large amounts of snappy and sophisticated dialogue, skillfully escalating the tension and conflict in each scene, carefully working in a lot of thematic components to form a cohesive whole, and taking an unlikely movie subject and turning it into something very compelling. He does the same with Steve Jobs as he did with Moneyball and The Social Network. It's more memorable than Moneyball, but it isn't quite on the level as The Social Network, however, it's still an impressive venture.

Steve Jobs ditches the usual by-the-numbers (and authentically cheesy) biopic formula, and dives straight into a juicy and immediate story. Steve Jobs' character is never painted as a superhero. In fact, he's painted as an asshole. Not all great films are about kind and upstanding people, and this is a biopic that dares to not glorify Jobs' personality--all while still maintaining a magnetic interest for every scene that he's in. Fassbender completely nails the role and is certainly locked in for a Lead Actor nomination at the Oscars. Also, the supporting cast is as solid as can be.

This film is a highly proficient portrait of a relentlessly difficult, egotistical and narcissistic innovator and marketer who is attempting to change the world... and succeeding at it.

* 8.5/10 *

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