Steve Jobs (2015)

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Review

Steve Jobs is a 2015 biographical drama film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels. It is such a good film and one of the biggest surprises for me this year.

The plot follows three major events in the life of Jobs: the release of Macintosh in 1984, the release of NeXT in 1988 and the 1998 launch of iMac. By focusing on just those three events, the movie manages to flow so well and it is great that they got rid of his life before and after these events as that would have been too much. But this choice is so phenomenal as it makes the movie all the more dramatic and so well realized not just in its characters, but in emotion and attention to detail.

The structure is fantastic as these three events are presented in three acts and all of these acts are incredibly well edited and they all work. The first one gets you invested in this story and gets you know the characters so well and so quickly due to some terrific characterization. The second act is probably the most dramatic one whereas the third act is the most emotional of the bunch. I loved all three of them, but the resolution did not work for me, but more on that later.

Steve Jobs is so well represented here. I’m not sure if his sense of humor was this good in real life, but everything else they did with him was so honest which is the main reason I enjoyed this film so much. His condescending nature, his smart talk and his troubled relationship with his daughter and especially his friend are all so well depicted and seem real. I loved how the filmmakers did not glorify him and never stayed away from the truth.

Steve Wozniak is also very well realized and the relationship between the two is so heartbreaking. I loved the conversation between the two near the end because it is so dramatically executed and so memorable. It is one of my favorite sequences for sure. Joanna Hoffman is also great, but I never really got why she cared so much about his family life. And Sculley is the least interesting person here.

The acting is most certainly one of Steve Job’s highest accomplishments. Michael Fassbender absolutely shines in this difficult role and his facial expressions, body language and above all his speech patterns are so well realized. He gave a powerhouse performance that is one of the finest of the year. But Kate Winslet is phenomenal as well and she disappears in her role and even becomes unrecognizable with all the make-up and different accent. But she steals every scene she is in and these two gave their best performance in recent years. Jeff Daniels is also good, but Seth Rogen surprised me as he did such a good job as Wozniak and he should definitely get more dramatic roles as he can be quite good in those.

Steve Jobs is technically a great achievement as it is so well directed and it is the best I’ve yet seen from Danny Boyle as I am usually not a big fan of his, but he did such a great job here. But the editing department is responsible for the film’s excellent structure and the entertainment value which is big as the movie is never boring. It is incredibly involving which is such an achievement as the material seems boring on paper. It is well shot and is a true chamber drama where the performances and the dialogue carry the movie and the locations are few, thus resembling a play. Speaking of dialogue, it is one of the biggest strengths here as it not only sophisticated, but engaging and I love its talkative and quick approach as it made the movie riveting, especially for a biopic.

Now, the flaws. There are a couple of problems I’ve had with the film. The relationship between Jobs and his daughter is probably the only flaw in this movie and every problem stems directly from it. By focusing so extensively on it in the third act, it felt somewhat structurally uneven as the family life and his business ventures aren’t that well incorporated here. Business is great and the relationships in the working place are all very well realized, but the family life is only there in the beginning and ending and almost disappearing in the middle. But the execution is so weak in the end. Whereas I liked it in the first act, I disliked it in the end as that whole ending is a bit too emotional in my honest opinion and it lessened the impact of the film to me.

Steve Jobs unfortunately went into overly maudlin territory in the third act, but everything else here works as the dialogue is so fantastic and involving, the characters are well developed, the editing is deft and the performances from Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet are so good. But its honest approach and its great, dramatic conversations are the reasons why the movie works and it is such a pleasant surprise, always entertaining and well crafted.

My Rating – 4.5

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