Directed by Danny Boyle
Based on the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
A behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of Steve Jobs, beginning with the unveiling of Apple’s Macintosh in 1984.
This film is yet another look at the work done by Steve Jobs and his cohorts at Apple. Previously, Jobs, iSteve, and The Pirates of Silicon Valley. This film is based on the book Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson (Kissinger and Nixon). The screenplay was completed by veteran writer Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball). Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directed the film. The movie stars Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Kate Winslet (Titanic), Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), and Jeff Daniels (The Martian).
This film is written in three distinct acts that build around milestone events in the career of Steve Jobs. Aaron Sorkin found unique ways to connect the events. Covering a period of 14 years, the film is filled with drama and intensity. Much of this comes from the incredibly smart dialogue. Although it might not be historically accurate, the interactions between Jobs and those around him are riveting. If the script has any weakness it might be the subject itself. Using a select group of moments in the life of someone leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Additionally, the main character doesn’t seem to grow throughout the film. Last minute moments meant to redeem Jobs ultimately fall short. Thankfully the overall experience is still a good one. With so many solid moments in the movie most viewers will forgive the weaknesses.
Whether or not you agree with my assessment of the script, the acting can’t be discounted. If anything, the performances in this movie elevate the material to Oscar-quality stuff. Michael Fassbender took on the title role with a cold and calculated performance that is full of nervous energy. In both the big moments and little interactions Fassbender found the right way to play things. Like the writing, he also seemed unwilling to let the character grow. This is unsettling and awesome to watch. Fassbender would earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for this one.
Kate Winslet does a great job as well. She was able to hold her own with a solid performance that matched Fassbender’s intensity. She would also be recognized for her performance with a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels also turn in great performances in this one. Overall, the cast did a great job with Sorkin’s screenplay.
The production value of this movie shouldn’t be overlooked. While it might not be the CGI masterpiece of 2015, this one found the right ways to use the camera. Cinematographer Alwin H. Küchler (Solitary Man) did great work finding unique ways to capture the emotion of each scene. The film also benefits from great set design, locations, and costuming. Like Steve Jobs himself, this one felt like every detail had been considered before a single shot was made. The rest of the work done in making this movie holds up nicely.
This is a very good movie that fans of drama need to check out. The writing is good, and the acting is better. I would recommend this to fans of Boyle, as he once again finds drama in an unlikely place. Fans of the stars should also check this one out. I give this one 4.4 out of 5 stars.