Friday, October 23, 2015
Review: Steve Jobs (2015)
'Steve Jobs' Is Worth Watching Beyond Just On A Mac Computer
Just know that, whenever I review a Michael Fassbender film and if I say that he is a chameleon, at this point, it begins to feel customary.
Steve Jobs follows the story of the titular Apple co-founder (Michael Fassbender) and showvases three different periods in his life through three product launches: The Macintosh in 1984, NeXT Box in 1988, and the iMac in 1998.
I'll start off with the screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Not only does he get showcase his typical Sorkin-esque dialogue like in The Social Network, but what makes this completely different from The Social Network is how he splits the film into three acts in a way that it not only feels like a play, but three different short movies even as the characters remain consistent. Also, when the film began, I was immediately hooked and I think that is a testament to Sorkin's writing.
I also would like to acknowledge Danny Boyle who is able to take the different acts of the film and give them distinguished characteristics. For example, during the "NeXT" act, the characters are all wearing red and are surrounded by red, signaling how it is the darkest period in the film, and there is an orchestral score unlike the beginning and the end which are composed of a more techno-based score. So if you love to analyze film, you can pick any detail from each act and find something to appreciate whether it is the way they are shot, the music, or how the whole movie is paced. This kind of structure allows the film to separate it from more conventional biopics like The Iron Lady and Lincoln that mainly focus on the events of the lives of the people that are portrayed. This film may do that as well, but in a way that the product launches depicted are like parallels to Jobs' life which aides in its separation from convention.
Next, I'll get into the acting. Michael Fassbender is an absolute chameleon. Despite the fact that he looks nothing like Steve Jobs, he still becomes Steve Jobs in body and spirit. The way he portrays him is like the machines he is selling: Full of energy and communicates in rapid fire yet trying to evolve and look ahead. His work transcends beyond cheap mimicry. He also has an outstanding cast surrounding him. Kate Winslet plays Apple's marketing executive Joanna Hoffman and Jobs' confidante and she is in top form here as a woman packed with no-nonsense yet sensitive candor. As the film began and she appears on screen, I kept forgetting that it was Kate Winslet. Seth Rogen has a smaller part as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and he really impressed me as he sheds his lovable stoner routine. I have been impressed by his semi-serious work in films like 50/50 and Observe and Report, but I loved him in this. I would say this is his perhaps his best work. The rest of the cast, including Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Katherine Waterston, are great as well.
Overall, Steve Jobs is a captivating biopic that works as both a technical and emotional marvel. It is engaging throughout thanks to its rapid fire writing by Aaron Sorkin, tremendous acting from the cast, and precise direction from Danny Boyle.