STARRING: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Michael Stuhlbarg, Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, Perla Haney-Jardine, Sarah Snook, Adam Shapiro, John Ortiz and Stan Roth
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
Steve Jobs is a biographical film about personal computer innovator and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, telling the story of his personal life over the course of three acts, with each one taking place on a launch of a key product – Apple Macintosh, the NeXT Computer and the iMac.
Steve Jobs is a film directed by Danny Boyle, working on a script penned by Aaron Sorkin structured in three arcs during three individual product launches such as the Apple Macintosh, the NeXT Computer and the iMac. The film took a while to get production going as it initially had David Fincher attached to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star as Jobs, with both having to leave the project due to creative differences and scheduling conflicts. There was a period where it felt that Boyle would be working with Christian Bale in the starring role, he apparently felt he wasn’t right for the role and finally the role was cast with Michael Fassbender to portray Steve Jobs. With change of initial director and star, would Steve Jobs feel like a troubled project in the final cut? Absolutely not.
What may have been distracting initial, Michael Fassbender gives a great performance in the lead as Steve Jobs. Sure it will be argued that Fassbender doesn’t have similarities to the look of Steve Jobs, but he emerges himself into the role and commits completely and regardless of who was initial set to play the lead, I can’t picture any of them being as compelling as Fassbender was. The supporting cast provide good performances, with Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley. The direction from Danny Boyle is solid, with some creative choices working in the films favour (projection on side of a wall as we witness a conversation of Steve explaining something to Joanna) and at times the script is sharp and dialogue flows effortlessly from the performances.
The problem with the film for me was after a strong opening act, the film seemed to fizzle out in what it was trying to say. As it focuses on Steve Jobs relationship with his daughter Ripley in the following two acts, the relationships of say Jobs and Wozniak seemed to fizzle out in comparison of exploring that furthermore as Wozniak is an interesting character in his own right. Like some of the previous Sorkin screenplays, this one couldn’t seem to find the fit of his humour and quips to advance the story forward, despite a few good monologues here and there. As it already has a tight structure in terms of venue, some of the flashback sequences will work and some will not, such as the exploration of Steve Jobs heritage for example.
A finely made biopic with an excellent lead performance from Michael Fassbender and very good direction from Danny Boyle. The film for me fizzled out towards the end as the structure of the story and the script could only sustain my interest for so long. 7/10