Review of 'Steve Jobs'

steve_jobs_2015.jpg One would think that with my recent review of the Steve Jobs movie from 2013 and my more recent review of the Steve Jobs biography I would be “Steve Jobs”-out, well, yes, this might be true but actually this adds yet more insight into a truly astonishing figure of the modern age. This film tells Jobs' (played passionately here by Michael Fassbender) story via the hours leading to three of his most famous speeches: The launch of the MacIntosh in 1984, the launch of the NeXT computer in 1988 then, finally, the launch of the iMac in 1998. We see him preparing for his talks but at the same time talking to key people in his life: John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), the former president of Pepsi and one-time CEO of Apple, Lisa, his estranged daughter and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers. We see the alienation that his demanding personality and drive for perfection has caused on all of these people - His denial of parentage of Lisa, his rejection of the pleas of his co-founder to acknowledge the efforts of the Apple II people in getting Apple to where it is now, and his outright hostility to the home-truths provided by Sculley.

Though much of what is discussed here is based on reality it is of course liberty taken to place these discussions immediately before each of these speeches (which is actually commented on by Jobs himself at one point along the lines of “why do these talks always happen before I go on the stage?”). The amount of material covered in little over two hours is formidable often leading to extremely fast-paced activity on the screen which may cause some viewers a lot of confusion though it certainly does vividly portray Jobs' manic and obsessive personality. I liked Fassbender's cold and clinical portrayal of the man yet gaining in humanity in each successive talk - Willing to acknowledge his failings and attempt to make right. The progression of his relationship with his daughter is also plane to see from a young child seeking her father's acceptance to the hostility of adulthood to one who ignored her. Sculley here is the voice of reason as he attempts to get Jobs to do what is right…

One scene I recall vividly from the movie is Jobs' argument from the stage before his talk with Woz - The hurt on both sides is extremely clear and made me feel quite uncomfortable watching (as it did those in the pre-talk audience). A very powerful scene.

An insightful film. If you are not too concerned about historical accuracy but are interested in knowing more about the man, have a watch. Heck, even if you are simply interested in what makes a genius a genius, have a watch. But, not necessarily, an iWatch (ok, ok, I could not resist the pun!).

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2016-02-10

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Studio: Universal Pictures

Year: 2015

Length: 122 minutes

Genre: Melodrama

Other reviewed films by Danny Boyle: