After 2013’s pretty mediocre ‘Jobs’, it may have come as a surprise that, only 2 years later, we were getting yet another film about the life of the Apple founder, Steve Jobs. Happily, we can report that this one is actually kind of great.
The film strays away from the typical biopic film formula and chooses not to show us Jobs’ entire life. Instead, we are shown the last few hectic moments before three huge product launches, leading up to 1998’s iMac. A brilliant decision. It gives the film a really clean feel, like you’re watching the highlights of a person’s life. It means the film doesn’t get bogged down with boring origins or events you don’t really care about.
Director, Danny Boyle creates a genuinely unique looking film by choosing to film in three different formats. 1984’s Macintosh release is filmed in 16mm film giving it a grainy, raw look that really does add a feel of technological advancement as we see the release of 1998’s iMac in full on, digital film. This decision makes it the film all the more engaging as you truly feel time has passed between each launch.
Of course the acting is also top class. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of the stubborn, almost sociopath-like Steve Jobs is mesmerizing and certainly Oscar worthy. Jeff Daniels, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogan also, all deliver stellar supporting performances.
As is the norm with any of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplays, it is almost faultless and delivers some really quotable lines. ‘God sent his own son on a suicide mission, but we like him… because he built trees!’ The dialogue is ‘sit back in your seat and make weird noises’ kind of good. A film like this needs a script like that. Anything less results in a train-wreck. A heated exchange between Fassbender and Daniels during the climax of the second act was particularly memorable and left me tensing up in my seat as I watched with absolute awe. Perfect.
However the film is not without it’s faults. The third act of the film feels like a bit of a grind at first. After the finale of the second act the film can’t really maintain the same level of engagement. It is only a small stumble though and Boyle quickly picks up the pace once again for a strong finish.
This isn’t the kind of film that will appeal to the kind of person who loves to see explosions, car chases and bar fights. This is a dialogue driven movie based on captivating characters with real arcs to their story. If you saw The Social Network and loved it, then I’m pretty sure you’ll love Steve Jobs. A supremely written film that gives us a great look at the man who was Apple.