Directed by Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as the eponymous character, Steve Jobs chronicles three episodes in the Apple giant’s life on his journey towards the unveiling of the iMac. It is a film which not only focuses on the obstacles Jobs faced in realising his vision but also shows him struggling with issues in his personal life. Throughout the film it is clear that he is a man of great ego, whose genius often sets him at a distance from other people.
The Steve Jobs we see has what can only be described as a God complex. He is unable to acknowledge the human flaws which dominate his work and ruin his personal relationships. He repeatedly exhibits a stubbornness which often alienates him, but it also lends him the bullish determination that he needs to realise his vision.
Whilst audiences will be used to seeing this type of anti-social genius, thanks to Downey Junior’s Sherlock Holmes and Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing; Fassbender’s charisma, coupled with great dialogue, work to create a character that is unique and compelling. Initially, the film does not show Steve Jobs as we have all come to know him. The aesthetics of the character form a creation that is entirely Fassbender’s own and strong suspension of disbelief is required. However, in the third act we are presented with the iconic grey-haired, turtle-necked wearing Jobs unveiled in time for the introduction to his iMac. A directorial decision that pays off, pulling on the audience’s sensory and emotional attachment at just the right moment.
Sharp, witty dialogue and fast-paced scene changes – the trademark of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, the mind behind films such as The Social Network and A Few Good Men – drive the plot in what is very much a dialogue-orientated film.
Each section focuses on a particular time period and consequent product launch, each with its own technological and personal crises. We witness Jobs not only struggle as a businessman but also as a father and friend.
Other characters include Seth Rogen’s Steve Wozniak – a whining reminder of the employees Jobs leaves behind in his quest for his vision – and Kate Winslet, who is almost unrecognisable as Joanna Hoffman, Job’s right-hand woman.
This is a biopic that keeps the audience intrigued from the rush of the opening to the triumph of the closing credits. Whilst Sorkin’s script has an almost overwhelming presence at times, there are quieter and more emotional moments which allow for the characters to be explored. As we approach awards season, there is a strong possibility that this film will garner the attention of the Academy.