Steve Jobs - This Movie iRocks
Dir: Danny Boyle
Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslett, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg
If you, like us, have been waiting all year for a clear awards frontrunner to show up, Steve Jobs may well be the one. Anyone who’s ever caught two minutes of The West Wing knows how much Aaron Sorkin loves his “walk and talks” and Danny Boyle’s movie is certainly not averse to these. But, damn, when the talk’s this good…
But whilst some of Sorkin’s work, such as the generally brilliant The Newsroom, can appear to be a group of thoroughly engaging characters all speaking with one voice (Sorkin’s), here he really differentiates between characters. Fassbender is clearly brilliant as Jobs, played on one level as a megalomaniacal prick, on the other as a visionary, rounded out with a real sense of humanity and, at times, vulnerability. It’s a wide-ranging performance that is utterly captivating, and instantly makes the man an Oscar front runner. He may not look much like Jobs himself but the essence of the man (as much as any of us can discern) is beautifully captured here.
It would be easy to dismiss everyone around him as mere supporting players, were it not for the richness of just about every single performance here. Sorkin takes he Jobs story and breaks it down into three pivotal moments in the man’s life – three presentations of new products that take the man from failure to success. In the backstage run up to all of these, the film weaves in the people who were pivotal in his life – Winslett’s long suffering PA, Stuhlbarg’s top techie, Rogen’s Wozniak, Daniels’ CEO and father figure, and Jobs’ at first unacknowledged daughter Lisa. All are rolled out before each launch and all take their snapshot moments to brilliantly show and develop their characters, none more so that Rogen, who does terrific work here.
As much as Sorkin’s script remains the primary focus of the film, it is expertly delivered by Boyle. Although he is mostly concerned with giving his actors full reign, he finds plenty of moments to add his own distinctive flourishes. As ever his use of music is note perfect (nod to Daniel Pemberton’s superb score), his editing razor sharp and incisive, and his visual sense completely complimentary.
Plus the movie ends with Dylan’s Shelter From The Storm (as did both Jerry Maguire and St Vincent) – what’s not to love?
This may or may not be an accurate reflection of Steve Jobs, the man. But it is an absolutely riveting piece of drama and cinema both, beautifully performed by all, realised with a huge degree of aplomb. Hell, it’s damn near iPerfect!
(Oh, and check out Ridley Scott's old Macintosh Super Bowl ad below - made with actual skinheads!)
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