Based on the Walter Isaacson book, Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle set the stage for Steve Jobs during the three iconic launches between 1984 and 1998. The movie takes us behind the scenes of both Jobs' life and what it took to turn Apple into the powerhouse that we know today.
People complain that we don't have "proper films" anymore and we all just rely on the summer blockbuster. This movie comes at the right time to prove those people wrong. The hardest part of this review was deciding on whether to give the movie an A or an A+. The movie is fantastic, majestic, astonishing; take your pick of adjective. Aaron Sorkin's script is sure to be nominated for an Oscar (if not win the Oscar for best adaption). The way that he and Danny Boyle set the stages at the launches for the first Macintosh, the NEXT and the revolutionary iMac is almost a work of art. When I first heard that the movie was only going to revolve around those three events, I was extremely curious to see how much could actually happen at a launch. Well, I was shown and quite handily.
Danny Boyle's direction is almost flawless in this movie. He runs the gamut of an almost grainy/documentary feel to a picture so crisp and clean that it reminds you of an Apple product. The angles, the colors, the attitude, the transitions, everything was just amazing.
Any time you do a biopic, one of the hardest parts is having the actor/actress embody that character. Michael Fassbender, as the title character, IS Steve Jobs in this film. He embodies mind, body (kinda) and soul. Steve Jobs is not an easy person to capture. We've seen the good and heard/read the bad. There are intricacies that have to be captured, whether it's his friendship with Joanna Hoffman (his PR specialist), his misunderstood friendship with Steve Wozniak that was as much a brotherhood as it was a love/hate relationship, to his coming to terms with his daughter, Lisa. On top of that, he was also so sure of himself that sometimes he got in his own way, and Fassbender captures all those and more. He brings an understanding to the Steve Jobs legend that many people don't get to see. Look for most of this cast and crew to be receiving Oscar nominations come award season.
Everyone in this film brings their "A-game." Jeff Daniels and Kate Winslet are both fantastic in their roles as John Scully and Joanna Hoffman. For those unclear, Scully is the man who was brought into Apple by Jobs to be CEO and was the reason Jobs was first fired from Apple, and Hoffman was Jobs' PR manager and personal confidant and was one of the few people who could (and would) stand up to Steve Jobs. I think that Winslet should be up for a Best Supporting actress nomination and if not for Seth Rogan (who I praise in just a minute) I would be telling you that Jeff Daniels would be up for a Best Supporting actor. Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss all play Lisa through the various stages of the movie, and they all play off Fassbender in such a way that you can really feel the love between the two characters.
The person who blew me away though was Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak. Seth Rogan is not known for nuance and usually stays in one mode and plays the same character no matter what movie he is. This is different. Steve Wozniak is the brilliance behind Apple, and Rogan captures both the affable nature of "the Great Woz" but also the very real anger that Wozniak had towards Jobs. There were so many little scenes between Rogan and Fassbender that show just what a "big brother/little brother" role that they had. Even the real Steve Wozniak said that the portrayals were real, authentic and true (and when the person you are playing that you did a great job as him, that is a huge compliment). Once again, I say expect an award nomination for Rogan for this role.
Sorkin's script is sharp, witty, emotional, and brings a new dimension to the Jobs mythos. Sorkin delves into Jobs and Wozniak's past to their days in Wozniak's garage working on what would be the first home computer to Jobs hiring Scully away from Pepsi-Cola and various times in between. People will complain that it's not 100% factual or that maybe a certain story was left out or something that a real stickler might try and point out, but don't pay attention to that. Every biopic is going to have a slight bias towards the main character, but this movie does do a good job at bringing the darkness into the light. Steve Jobs was a complicated person.
I was trying to find flaws with this film before, during and after. After the movie, on the drive home, I was thinking back on the movie and couldn't think of one. If anything, the movie inspired me to not sit around and wait for life to happen. You have to go out and make life happen. This, for me, is one of the best movies of the year. Everything fires on all cylinders in the movie. There are no real flaws and this movie will be at the forefront come award season. Go watch it now. It's a movie that everyone should watch. Whether you are a fan of film, a fan of Apple and Steve Jobs, a fan of biopics, OR if you are a student of film. If you are a student, study this film. If you are a student of life and business, watch this film. Get what I am saying? Watch this film.