Pirates of Silicon Valley, Jobs and now this. Moneyball, The Social Network and now this. Slumdog Millionaire, 127 hours and now this. This is Steve Jobs, the new definitely-not-a-biopic from Director Danny Boyle and writer Aaron Sorkin; starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen as Apple’s leading minds on the brink of the most unforgettable and monumental moments of the technological era.
Jobs was at the pinnacle of the computing movement right when it mattered most through the late 70s until his recent premature death. Like in F1 or space exploration, the forefront of their own technologies, great minds congregate and focus as one on resolving obstruction and creating the future. What Steve Jobs brought to this world was not technical prowess atop a microprocessor but instead a mountain of ideas tall enough to leave his legacy in the pocket of nigh on every man, woman or child on this planet. He was able to realise his idea to make computers friendly; steer that vision of maniacal HAL into a decision to buy a digital pal.
So that’s why we have these films. We’ve had the ultra-low budget Pirates, we’ve done the look-alike biopic and now we’ve distilled the character of Steve Jobs into his defining moments before Apple’s defining moments. Sorkin bragged to BFI and probably many other organisations that his script contained over 180 pages of dialogue, cast members pointed out that Sorkin writes how people think – I think he’s clearly off the chain here and needs reigning in. The film feels leashed and tugged along by unrealistic, repetitive instances such as John Scully (Jeff Daniels), appointed Apple CEO, often bringing up Steve’s issues with being adopted and Woz (Seth Rogen) has literally no other purpose in the film than to pester for an Apple II shout-out. You really do get the measure of any man from his performance under pressure and clearly these situations are drawn up to present such an idea. These two performances, as well as the other main characters are believable and Boyle is known for drawing great performances out of his actors, but where else is Boyle in this film? Sorkin heralds Boyle for shooting well in closed spaces, something he is good at but not known for, and henceforth is perfect for direction of oral boxing matches between Jobs and whoever gets in his way. Heck, let them both work on an 8 Mile pt 2 then. It’s over-written and lacks a lot of charm – a trait many forget Steve Jobs had heaps of and clearly used like no other to counteract frequently coming off as an asshole.
Many people who’ve seen the film and also countless hours of footage of real life Jobs praise Fassbender for his performance and I couldn’t agree more. He really throws his all into the role – soft intonation on quotes from real life jobs make them sing of inspiration, different soft intonation and tones of voice makes off-hand remarks to Steve’s loved ones and enemies sting and hiss with malice.
I wish I had more good things to say here as part of AdamLikes is only reviewing things I like. This was nowhere near the best work of anyone involved production wise aside from Fassbender. What I will say is that the European Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square was a delightful experience and the few questions they answered before the screening were reasonably insightful.