Written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
When movies with audible dialogue came along they were called "talkies", " Steve Jobs" is that very definition. Having read the extremely popular book the movie is based on it was interesting to see how they decided to dramatize his life in a sort of episodic way, densely packing in all these life events coming from the outside bleeding inwards as he tries to focus on the newest product launch. The movie opts for 3 segments just before a keynote starting with the 1984 Macintosh, then the 1988 NeXT Black Cube and ending in 1998 with the iMac.
As each new keynote arrives we see the progression of these people involved in Steve's life and how his personality alienated him from others. Twisting peoples words, pushing their buttons and trying to prove his beliefs using his " reality distortion field". It didn't win him any friends but it allowed him to bend people to his will and his vision of the future. Pushing his engineers to make things people wanted and just didn't know it yet.
I think the one message the movie holds on to is Steve keeps moving forward. He isn't concerned with past relationships or dramatic events or life outside his work. He is the dramatic event, he is the person responsible for creating his own future, controlling every aspect of his vision with a precision he can (mostly) communicate to his staff. Everyone else dwells on issues like kids, and his life as an orphan, money, what is fair, but Steve puts all his time and effort in creating a future worth living in and showing it off to the world.
I didn't absolutely love this movie but i sure did like it a lot. There were some great performances by Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet as his polish assistant Joanna Hoffman, 3 different and equally talented girls play his daughter Lisa. Jeff Daniels once again proves his worth with a great performance as John Scully, going toe to toe with Fassbender on a number of occasions as almost a "villain" holding his own in electrifying sequences. Even Seth Rogen makes for an interesting Wozniak, exuding his giddy charm but also his deep moral centre that appears to be lost on Steve. They share some friendly banter about a watch at one point and it highlights Steve's friendly side and just how close their relationship is despite tensions on their difference of opinion and what is right and wrong.
Adding to these great performances is a wonderful score. a tense bubbling techno beat to the mix works incredibly well in the various intense conversations as emotions boil over before showtime. Another nice touch was done in the changing of film formats as the year switches. 1984 was on a gritty 16mm, 1988 jumps to 35mm and 1998 goes completely digital. Mirroring Steve's journey of forward progress. As he refined himself, so does the image and our image of Steve.
"Steve Jobs" is one of those really well made movies that you can't help but appreciate all the talent at work. Much like Sorkin's script for "The Social Network", "Steve Jobs" that goes for dramatization over exact truths and the spirit of characters rather than mimicry. It's a great movie that I don't think would have worked as well as it's own fictional tale but with the background knowledge of Apple and Steve, makes for a compelling story worth watching.