Classic Movie Review: Steve Jobs (2015)

Posted: November 4, 2015 in Drama
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steve jobs

In 1984, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh.  Fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) wanted Jobs to share a little of his product introduction with the Apple II developers, he would not.  Jobs has other problems, his ex- girlfriend Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston) claimed that her daughter, Lisa (Ripley Sobo, Perla Haney Jardine) is also Steve’s daughter, a claim Jobs vociferously denied.  To make matters worse, the Macintosh did not sell.  Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) responded to the Board of Directors, who wanted Jobs out.  In 1985, Jobs resigned and founded Next in 1985, and made computers that were prohibitively expensive.  Whatever crisis is going on in Jobs’ life, the one constant is his right hand and confidante, Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) who follows him to Next. Despite all the distractions, Jobs is working on an operating system while at Next, and he thinks that Apple may buy out Next to get their hands on the operating system that Jobs developed with Next.  Does Jobs make it back to Apple?  Is Lisa his daughter?   Do they reconcile?

I don’t know how much of the story is true, and how much is embellished, but the storytelling is electric.  I did know Jobs left Apple, whether he was pushed out or resigned depends on who you ask.  I know that he and Wozniak had a war of words in public.  Wozniak, the techie, never thought he got the credit that he deserved for the success of Apple.  I can also imagine that Jobs resented Sculley, because Sculley ran Pepsico before he became CEO of Apple, but that’s just an educated guess on my part.  I knew nothing about Jobs and Lisa, I hope their relationship was better than portrayed on film.  But it is wildly entertaining to see Jobs go from crisis to crisis, and try to manage his personal and professional life, and not doing a very good job at either for 13 years.  The ending is a little too Hollywood, but that’s a minor criticism of this movie. This is another great screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, who took on another tech titan in The Social Network.  This movie is just as good.

The acting is outstanding, Fassbender is very good at playing a man who’s so committed to his own vision of what a computer company should be, that he alienates everyone around him.  Jobs is a complicated man with a complicated life, who’s built a carefully constructed façade, and he lets no one inside.  Fassbender does a good job of illustrating the complexity, as well as the humanity of the man.  Fassbender’s American accent slips a little, but that’s a minor flaw in a largely flawless performance.  Kate Winslet turns in another great performance, as Jobs’ conscience.  I thought she was having accent problems too, but she was actually doing a Polish accent, and that made her performance even better. There’s a surprisingly good performance by Seth Rogen, especially one heated exchange with Fassbender as Jobs, Rogen held his own.  I was impressed.

Danny Boyle does another great job directing this movie, using unorthadox angles and shots to make this movie a visual treat.  He makes each product launch seem like a rock concert.  Boyle also gets an outstanding performance from Seth Rogen, it’s easy to get good performances from Fassbender and Winset, but Boyle gets a good performance from Rogen.  If you don’t think that’s difficult, watch The Interview.

I was disappointed that no one went to see this movie, the theater I went to was half empty, shame on the audiences who missed this movie.  The plethora of sequels must be talking a toll on the moviegoing audience at large.  They don’t know an intelligent, engaging movie when they see one.

Steve Jobs:  A Job well done.


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