Written by Aaron Sorkin (Newsroom) and directed by Danny Boyle (Trainsporting) comes this emotional and stimulating story about one of the technology industry’s biggest figures, Apple mongrel, Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender). The movie narrates three key points in Jobs’ life and his career. Firstly, in 1984 at the premiere of the first Mac. The second part is his firing from Apple in 1988. Yes, he was fired from the company that he co-founded. The final part was his comeback to Apple at the dusk of the 20th century in 1998 and the revelation of the notorious iMac. The movie follows Jobs at work but also at home in his personal life. More times than one, his domestic life molded with his business. The movie stars Michael Fassbender (Macbeth), Kate Winslet (Divergent), Jeff Daniels (The Martian), Seth Rogen (Superbad) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire).
Steve got the job done. His mind was brilliant, intelligent and very resourceful. But he was incredibly difficult to work with. All in all, he was a bit of a twat. That’s how the movie portrays him but the movie also shows his good side as well. He was short-tempered and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He doesn’t compromise and knows what he wants. All of this flaws can be forgiven but to be in denial that your daughter isn’t your daughter is truly unforgivable. His net worth at the time of his death was $10.2bn. He was more than loaded and he was just as flawed as the best of us. He was arrogant and thought he was god’s gift and made of gold. It just goes to show that you can have all the money in the world yet still be as human as everyone else.
You’re issuing contradictory instructions, you’re insubordinate, you make people miserable, our top engineers are fleeing to Sun, Dell, HP, Wall Street doesn’t know who’s driving the bus, we’ve lost hundreds of millions in value and I’m the CEO of Apple, Steve, that’s my resume!
What made Jobs an unbearably irritating person to work with, was that he was an annoying ball breaker but people stayed because he was brilliant. He literally, changed the world. He defined modern computing by creating these aesthetically pleasing products that are beautiful to look at yet functional…most of the time. They are our friends. He was a pain in the arse because he consistently wanted to micromanage trivial details of his presentations. What was trivial to everyone else was the be all and end all to him. E.g. wanting the first Mac to say “hello”. He wanted it to be friendly and he humanized a computer by getting it to talk. It’s marketing at the greatest level. The coming of the Mac was a cultural phenomenon and even the first iPhone.
Fassbender’s performance, as always, is on point. Fassbender doesn’t replicate Jobs’ appearance really, but more his ideologies, and mentality. His drive, charisma and ambition in the products is represented through him. Fassbender is one of the only actors to play difficult characters with great prowess from Edwin Epps (12 Years A Slave) to the King Of Scotland (Macbeth) or even Erik Lehnsherr (X-Men: Days Of Future Past). In this movie, he plays a public figure. Someone who really lived who had real thoughts and dreams, a personality. He plays a feared figure over the time span of fourteen years. From the long-haired perfectionist to the grey-haired father. He plays Jobs with the repulsiveness and vigor with the arrogance of this man’s behaviour as well as the more pleasant side to this man. Sorkin’s writing humanized Jobs but was embellished upon with Fassbender’s stellar performance. Jobs has a creepy presence about him. The silent assassin behind his eyes. He doesn’t give a shit if you like him at all.
Joanna Hoffman is played by Winslet and his Jobs’ voice of morality and reason. His conscience so to speak. She is consistently calm and collected except for when Jobs is being an absurd ball breaker. She gives some great monologues to him that wake him up out of his force field. She is motherly, yet convincing and commanding. She is firm but fair, like that great secondary school teacher. Her rapport with Fassbender is surprisingly excellent and both actors bounce off each other without turning a shade.
What is it with Jeff Daniels (The Martian) lately? He just seems to be in everything, just like Cumberbatch. His performance was great, having just left NASA to join us at Apple. His character is an anti-hero but serious and on form. Jeff Daniels is a great actor and is judged too heavily on one film…Dumb and Dumber. He is awesome and I hope to see him more in the future. Seth Rogen (The Interview) also appears in this movie as Steve Wozniak. It goes to show that Rogen can act in other things except for shitty comedies.
The script has been Sorkined with witty one liners that have been timed perfectly down to the second. 3…2…1 (insert witty banter here). Sorkin is one of the funniest yet politically active writers today. Newsroom was on it, telling us hard truths. “Why America isn’t the greatest country in the world”. His writing was made for Jobs. There have been adaptations of Steve Jobs before but this is the best written by far. It’s been Sorkined. Enough said. Sorkin was made for this. It was meant to be. Sorkin didn’t play the violin or the trumpet. Nor did he play the double bass or the trombone. He played the orchestra.
In conclusion, I think that this is the best rendition of Jobs. All biopics are embellished in one form or another but this movie is a rollercoaster ride. There is never a dull moment. The ensemble cast has to be commended. I expect a nomination or two, or three for Fassbender, Sorkin and Boyle. A great adaptation of the one of history’s greatest thinkers. A must watch, not only for computer geeks but for everyone who is interested in art and freedom of expression as well. It’s an inspirational story told by Sorkin and Boyle, performed by Fassbender, Winslet, Rogen and Stuhlbarg. Truly phenomenal.