Steve Jobs – Lightning Quick and Written Fiendishly Well

Oct 23, 2015 by Pedro Lopez DeVictoria on The Nickelodeon Blog

Somewhere along the line, Aaron Sorkin, an Oscar-winner for The Social Network sold his soul to the devil of the tête-à-tête. While this bogie is a specific one, through the vessel of Sorkin, it can elicit laughter, awe, and profound inspiration. His characters’ conversations play out with such symphonic deftness, yes, it’s completely unrealistic, but it is monstrously entertaining, the polar opposite of mumblecore. Like the writing from “Gilmore Girls” or his lauded TV series “The West Wing” or, hell, even Shakespeare, we know people don’t spout brilliant things so casually in real life. But that doesn’t make it any less of a joy to watch and feel, from the mouths of characters who you know are attached to radically disruptive innovations that have changed our daily lives.

In Steve Jobs we are taken backstage in the moments preceding three major launches in Steve Jobs’ career– the first part, shot on 16mm film, is set in 1984 in Cupertino, California, where Jobs, 29, debuts the Macintosh– part two, presented on widescreen 35mm, brings us to 1988 when Jobs, fired by Apple, presents his doomed NeXT cube. The final part, in a digital format, takes place in 1998 at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, where Jobs, launches the revolutionary iMac. However, along with flashbacks and expansive dialogue, director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 127 Hours) gives us biopic-level coverage of this man’s life.

Even though the film never approaches his role in Pixar or his cancer diagnosis, we are treated to an unflinching gaze into some very glaring gaps in an otherwise spotless mythological being. Michael Fassbender expertly breathes equal parts humanity and trouble into his portrayal, a not-all-rainbow-and-sunshine treatment. His tenuous relationship with his daughter and her mother, his isolation from those who love him, his fundamental failures as a manager of interpersonal relationships all threaten to usurp the legend of this man in our mind. However, his vision, manifested through his actions, dealings, even complaints and squabbles, serves as his salvation, and this film isn’t afraid to bask in his genius any more than his flaws.

A beautiful score, with faultless supporting performances from Sorkin acolyte Jeff Daniels, a glorious Kate Winslet, and a surprisingly wounded and heartfelt performance by Seth Rogen, “Steve Jobs” is just about as genius as its subject. An incredible ride, this film is not to be missed.

PS I’d like to add that the film is nothing like “Gilmore Girls”–it just seemed to be a fitting reference at the time. Really.