The life-story of Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs returns to the silver screen this winter, with Danny Boyle’s new eponymous biopic set for release in November. The new Steve Jobs filmstars Michael Fassbender as the notorious Apple innovator, alongside Kate Winslet as his marketing guru, and the comic talents of Seth Rogan as Apple’s co-creator.
Boyle’s film centres on the three pivotal product launches that secured Job’s iconic status. Each act is exquisitely spun, with Fassbender at the peak of his prowess, delicately unpacking the mind of a genius and exhibiting brilliant chemistry with his supporting cast.
As Jobs, Fassbender is mesmeric, immersive and wholly believable, transforming his subject from vegan innovator to sex symbol of the tech industry – with heart, soul and vision to boot (or re-boot). There are also striking performances from Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Job’s confidante and marketing director, and Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak, the man who helped first build that original machine in his – now legendary – garage.
Jeff Daniels takes on the role of ex-Pepsi CEO John Scully and also gives a stellar performance, subtly negotiating the tensions inherent in Jobs’ and Scully’s relationship in the run-up to the 1998 iMac launch. At its best moments, Boyle’s Steve Jobs truly excels, unpicking the complex history of Apple and casting unexpected new light on the infamous brain behind it all.
Jobs is in safe hands under the direction of Aaron Sorkin, whose previous films The Social Network and Moneyball managed to find drama in equally unlikely places. The film’s flaw, however, comes in the form of Sorkin’s decision to hone in on a more personal aspect, Job’s relationship with his daughter. As the final scenes drive this relationship to the fore, the film veers into sentimental – and slightly melodramatic – territory. Sorkin wants to show us that Jobs is human, but the punchy dialogue and honed narrative has already more than achieved this goal.
Whilst the Steve Jobs soundtrack, too, leaves little to be desired – with tracks like Don’t Look Back into Sun jarring with the tone of Boyle’s film – this is a minor failing that doesn’t detract from the overall power of this captivating biopic. In short, Steve Jobs an engaging and focussed film that tells a powerful story of one of the 21st century’s most fascinating and revolutionary men. We can’t recommend enough – not least for the exceptional lead performance: here truly is Fassbender at his intimidating best.