Steve Jobs, 2015
Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterson
It seems everyone these days knows the name Steve Jobs. CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs was obsessed with revolutionizing technology through computers. And this film takes us behind the scenes, in 3 different acts, of Jobs' personal and professional life, and how they affected each other. These three acts are: the launch of the Macintosh (1984), the NeXT launch (1988), and the launch of iMac (1998). Each part is filmed in real-time and explores the goings on of Steve's life in the 45 minutes or so before each launch.
The use of the three acts, I found, was extremely well done. It made this less of a classic biopic and made it into something more interesting. It's an exploration of a man, and the world around him. It's about ego and family and success. Choosing to do three different acts in real time was a great choice, and I very much applaud Aaron Sorkin for choosing an inventive way to tell Jobs' story. I really love when films are shot in real time, so very much enjoyed seeing Jobs move from conflict to conflict before each launch.
Michael Fassbender was indeed quite wonderful in the titular role. I know I've heard many complain that Fassbender doesn't look much like Steve Jobs, but I don't really care because he really did do an amazing job in the role. I mean, pretty much anyone with talent can seem fantastic with a Sorkin script, but Fassbender was (unsurprsingly) very good. Considered by many the frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar this year, I would be fine with him winning. It's a great role of a complex and unlikable man and would be a worthy role to have him win his first Oscar.
The supporting cast all had quite small roles, so there isn't a ton to say. Seth Rogen's role as Wozniak was smaller than I had anticipated, though Kate Winslet's role of Joanna, Jobs' "work wife" and head of marketing was larger than I expected. Rogen does his role fine, but I was impressed with Winslet. She really gives Joanna personality and a true voice, showing how complex her relationship with Steve was. As well, Jeff Daniels as previous Apple CEO, Mike Sculley, was still very much channeling his Newsroom character (though not surprising since that is also penned by Sorkin) and he did a good job as well.
The biggest complaint I had about this film was the ending. After exploring who Steve jobs is and how ulikable and condescending he is, the movie seems to go for something a little more hero-worship and a little too wrapped up for me to truly like it. It seemed like a bit too much of a copped out ending, taking the easy way out. It's disappointing that this is the direction that Sorkin and director Danny Boyle decided to take the film. The last 10 minutes felt conventional where the rest of the film felt unconventional. To me, it didn't make sense with the rest of the film.
Overall though, Steve Jobs was a movie I did quite enjoy. It was unconventional in the best of ways, and it's too bad that, upon opening wide, that it has been floundering at the box office. I don't know if this will hinder it's Oscar chances, as it seemed likely for a Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, we will have to wait and see if Michael Fassbender and crew remain contenders.