When I first heard about this project, I immediately had high expectations. With Aaron Sorkin writing the script and Danny Boyle directing, I knew the dialogue would be quick and witty and the cinematography would be absolutely beautiful. When I saw the screening on Monday, I was not disappointed.
Steve Jobs differs rather noticeably from the 2013 flick Jobs. Even though both centered on telling the life story of a rather flawed man who just happened to be a great visionary genius.
The film follows Jobs (Michael Fassbender) through the minutes before three major product launches. From his demands of the engineers, arguments with Apple’s once CEO, John Sculley (played by Jeff Bridges), his relationship trials and tribulations with Steve Wozniak (played by Seth Rogen) and even his work-wife Joanna Hoffman (played by Kate Winslet), everything comes to a boil minutes before Jobs is to step on stage and announce to the world what the next big thing is to be released.
However, at the center of all the disfunction and bullying that surrounded Jobs, the real relationship the film focuses on is with his daughter Lisa. From denying that he is her father to eventually allowing her to be apart of his life (decades later). Audiences are able to truly see the rise and fall of Jobs as person in direct relationship to his product releases. It’s quite an eerie allegory really.
The film’s pace rarely takes a breath. There’s a lot of walking and talking, the two things done best by any project with Aaron Sorkin attached. It’s almost as if fans are watching the tech industry’s version of West Wing, and that’s something I certainly didn’t mind. The script itself managed to beautifully illuminate Steve Jobs as the genius that he was while also showing the troubled complexities that made him so flawed at his core.
The cast all did a tremendous job, and while I won’t say that I think Michael Fassbender looks anything like Steve Jobs (maybe a little at the very end), he managed to create a controlled madness on the screen that felt incredibly genuine and resonated with fans. (Fun fact: At one point it was reported that Christian Bale was inline to play this role after Leonardo DiCaprio had originally pulled out to make The Revenant)
Kate Winslet delivers a solid performance on a grand scale as Jobs’ marketing chief. And while Seth Rogen might be a bit of a surprise to fans in this role, he too delivers a strong performance.
But then there is Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges… what can I even say? Flawless. Sorkin didn’t hesitate to bring over the strength and characteristics from Bridges’ character in Newsroom for the role of John Sculley. I think the Sorkin/Bridges combination is a dream team, and I hope we continue seeing projects that have these two involved.
Overall, I’d rank this inline with The Martian for best film of 2015. With two films of this caliber, it’s going to be really competitive awards season.
Steve Jobs Trailer
Steve Jobs Review
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures