Passion. Often used as a word to describe a deep affection or enthusiasm for something, it is also used to describe Steve Jobs, the technologist behind Apple, NeXT and Pixar, among other achievements. He changed the way we look at the world and challenged us to ‘think differently.’ Danny Boyle’s stunning Steve Jobs challenges us to also think differently as we watch the drama behind the man unfold.
Starting with the Macintosh product launch in 1984, the movie focuses on many of the major milestones that shaped the Apple we know today while giving an insider’s look at Jobs’ personal struggles with an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston), a daughter he refuses to acknowledge, a partner who wants to be acknowledged, but is consistently shunned (Seth Rogan), a CEO who defends, but ultimately crosses Jobs (Jeff Daniels) and a personal assistant (Kate Winslet) supporting him throughout. The choice role of Steve Jobs is deftly played by Michael Fassbender, making ‘Steve Jobs’ seem larger than life.
Based on Walter Issacson’s book “Steve Jobs,” Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay is full of wit and banter, true to his form. As brilliant as the screenplay is, the focus seemed to be on the pomp and circumstance of each major Apple product release correlated to a dramatic milestone in Jobs’ life rather than a dramatic prose about the man and the myth. Several key flashback sequences, from the development of the Apple II to Jobs’ CEO to discussion with John Sculley, are peppered into the story, giving some backstory. Elliot Graham’s editing creates a solid pace, much like a symphony conductor. Unfortunately, the flashback sequences got lost in the shuffle and without the amazing performances by the key cast, ‘pomp and circumstance’ falls flat too.
Speaking of symphonies, Daniel Pemberton is to be congratulated on yet another fine score, highlighting the many facets of Steve Jobs and each situation.
The story painted Steve Jobs as a composer, moving pieces strategically and deliberately into place to fit the mold of the moment. Sorkin’s composition of the characters combined with the nuance of each player in the frenetic, but controlled hands of Danny Boyle, works, brilliantly. Steve Jobs is recommended.