I know what you are thinking: isn’t it too soon to be making yet another Steve Jobs movie? Well, I can tell you now that this film is nothing like what can only be referred to now as “That Other Steve Jobs Movie.” Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” fulfilled all the expectations of a successful biopic, or rather, biodrama. The film is split into three well-structured acts, covering the three most impactful product releases of Steve Jobs’ career.
We see Jobs reveal the first Macintosh in 1984, then in 1988 after he is fired from Apple and releases his first computer with his new company NeXT Inc., and finally, when he debuts the iMac in 1998. The movie was obviously designed like a play, as it was mostly shot in one location on a stage. Most of the film takes place either on or backstage, as Jobs prepares for a launch.
Don’t worry, the film is kept moving by Aaron Sorkin’s incredibly clever writing. The “Social Network” writer brought another tech story to life in a way that brings the subject’s complexities to the foreground while still maintaining a sense of dry humor. The film was also driven by the equally clever and subtle camera movement and editing. I was especially interested in how the film itself smoothly transitioned from 16mm, 35mm and finally to digital filmmaking to mark the advancements that occurred throughout Steve Jobs’ reign. The stellar cast was also able to magnificently keep up with the tempo of the film and were even able to add more to an already loaded script.
When it comes to the acting, I admit I am a bit biased. I would pay to watch Michael Fassbender read a phonebook, or maybe even the script from “That Other Steve Jobs Movie” (too soon?). However, he really has done it again. From crazed slave owner (“Twelve Years a Slave”) to comic book supervillain (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Fassbender has a knack for becoming a complex antagonist who always manages to steal the show. He is no different in this film, and while the Fassbender charm keeps him somewhat lovable, Jobs is portrayed as a demanding, devious force to be reckoned with.
Even so, the entire cast was absolutely able to hold their own. Kate Winslet portrayed a powerful Joanna Hoffman, and the chemistry between her and Jobs was always entertaining. Funnyman Seth Rogen was surprisingly lacking in humorous dialogue in this witty drama. However, he was able to play a Steve Wozniak who expressed a unique kind of shy intensity that kept me interested in his character from beginning to end. Wozniak is shown to be a loyal friend to Jobs, who demands respect that is often tested, but in the end well-deserved.
Any good biographical film should be able to take the life of a person and massage it into a captivating narrative, and “Steve Jobs” did just that. This movie hit on all the topics that rattled us after Jobs’ death: how he approached his product, his family and his relationships concerning Apple. My one warning would be that this is the kind of movie that demands your attention, and therefore some of the humor can go over your head if you are not fully present. I would recommend that everyone sees it, especially the young adults of today, as it gives us insight into the thought process and history of the man that created such a technological staple in our generation.