In yet another biopic of the late, great co-founder of Apple, director Danny Boyle and writer Aaron Sorkin provide an update on the Steve Jobs story.
Their dramatisation takes a deceptively simple approach to storytelling, arranged in three distinct acts set in real-time before Jobs takes the stage at three major product launches. Fitting decades of personal and professional development into three snapshots without being contrived is a difficult task, and one that Sorkin (with his trademark quick-fire banter) and Boyle have done well.
Michael Fassbender is suitably intimidating as the inventor with a passion for perfection
There are tension-boosting tools in both the dialogue and action – building as Jobs gets closer to taking the stage – and visual techniques (such as imposing footage behind a long monologue) to break up the Sorkin trademark of heavy dialogue. It all works, especially with a strong cast who are more than able to do the lifting.
Michael Fassbender is suitably intimidating as the inventor with a passion for perfection; his performance is fierce and compelling. While Kate Winslet is beautiful as Jobs’ emotional conscience and confidante, Joanna. They play perfectly off of each other as the only human relationship that Jobs seems to feel comfortable with.
Although an intimate endeavour, Steve Jobs focuses more on his career highs and lows, moving his personal life to the background. It’s telling that the people who have no professional connection to Jobs (his ex and his daughter, for example) have the least screen presence.
The technique and subtle artistry involved in creating this film are mirrored in the life of the subject (who considers himself an artist and comments on this multiple times) and it has been noted that some creative liberties with the timing and conversations have been taken. However, Steve Jobs is a fascinating insight into an innovative genius who paved the road for the way we live our lives today.
Star rating/5: ***1/2
In Australian cinemas Feb 4