*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* Once upon a time there was a guy named Jobs. I would make a Job pun to begin with but that would be too much work.
As it is stupidly obvious, this film focuses on Steve Jobs. To be more specific, it focuses on three main moments in his life, the three launches of some his most notable products. It is here we catch a birds eye view into how this genius (or false genius), played by Michael Fassbender, ticked.
Of course we've got to ask the question at some point so I'll throw it out sooner than later. Is what was said in this film true to what actually occurred? You know, it is pretty irrelevant. The goal of the film was to give a glimpse and idea of who Steve Jobs really was and his persona, which this article dissects. I am sure much of his conversations in the movie happened at some point in time, just maybe not exactly word for word at those exact places. If you want to know what actually happened, watch a documentary or read about what Steve Job's brilliant partner Steve Wozniak had to say about the film.
Now if we are going to talk about anyone, we've got to talk about our lead. Michael Fassbender - the bender of metal - keeps showing why he is on par with the best of the best. He has such a commanding presence on screen. Even when he is hidden behind a bobble head all film as he was in the indie movie Frank, he knows how to captivate his audience and carry a film forward. Here he gives one of the best performances I have ever seen him give. His character Jobs require a level of charisma, and quick draw line delivering that is mind boggling when you think about it. He not only has to show the ability pull quick-witted line after quick-witted line in such a rapid-fire pace without appearing inorganic; but he has to also show such a commanding presence. Michael Fassbender is just so believable. Whether or not he is recognized when award season rolls around is a question I am not comfortable saying. What I can say is that in terms of truly becoming a character, Fassbender is one of the best of the year.
Fortunately it is not only him doing the work. His sharp, piercing persona is counterbalanced and brought even more to life by some terrific supporting characters. Kate Winslet might have pulled off the best female supporting work we have seen all year playing Job's marketing executive Joanna Hoffman. She dives into her character and doesn't come up for a breath. This all or nothing approach means that she is everything she needs to be and more. Steve Jobs would not be nearly as interesting nor complex if we don't have a character that brings out all sides to him - not just the quick-witted, narcissistic, genius douche bag that Fassbender pulls off so well.
Everyone is really terrific for that matter. Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen give some meaty performances as well as plenty of others who I didn't know about going in. For example, I just had to look up the actor by the name of Michael Stuhlbarg who plays a real life techie named Andy Hertzfeld after seeing him on screen. With the little screen time he did have, he shines with an empathetic and compelling performance. I could go on with many more. Needless to say, all of it is acted so well.
Part of this definitely comes from the script as some of the freshest and most engaging dialogue is in this film. Aaron Sorkin, a guy I shamefully knew very little about coming in, has shown that he can write great, sharp lines and pace his stories in such a way that make them so darn compelling. His work on The West Wing, The Social Network, and Moneyball is evidence of this; and he pulls it off again. Steve Jobs is an explosive experience - well, as explosive as a movie can get with no action and a buttload of dialogue. The move is just so full of life. This energy is brought out by the engaging way Steve Jobs is shot. Danny Boyle, director of the film, brings out a propulsive pace and feel to the project through the use of movement. Our emotional response is constantly fanned and hightened with sweeping cinematography and breathtaking pace. We always have a place to go and a deadline to meet. Boyle and Sorkin implement this in the best way possible to make for one of the most enjoyable times had at the movies this year.
When it comes down to it, Steve Jobs might just be the best film all year. Sure, the final act might have one too many one-on-one arguments which takes away slightly from the believability and pacing, but the film is just acted so well that it is hard to care. While I might not recommend this film to everyone as it truly is a dialogue heavy, straight up drama; those that yearn to see what cinema looks like at its best, need not look any further. Steve Jobs is a more than excellent film. This excellences shines through the acting thanks in part to everyone, but especially Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Michael Stuhlbarg. It is also one of the written, paced, and elegantly constructed pieces of entertainment we've seen in 2015, thanks to Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle. Thanks to everyone in fact (including the Apple II team). Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. Can I get a free Apple anything now?
Personal Preference: 4.5/5
Critical Analysis: 4.75/5