Steve Jobs

Documentary

Michael Fassbender portrays the method and madness of the tech giant Discuss this article

2015_stevejobs
© ITP Images

Steve Jobs the movie is a lot like Steve Jobs the person: astonishingly brilliant whenever it’s not breaking your heart. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who’s written about America’s Great Flawed Men with such fire and hyper-articulate pathos that he’s threatened to become one himself, outdoes his work on The Social Network with an even sharper and more savage script about a tech visionary whose genius threatens to corrupt his ethics. Meanwhile, Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle does his best to stay out of sight, but whenever he shows his hand, you want to smack it away.

Steve Jobs squeezes the Apple founder’s outsized persona into three discrete story sections, each one corresponding to a product launch and Michael Fassbender sinks deeper into the role as Jobs develops into the icon he would ultimately become.

The first and most flawlessly scripted slice is set in January of 1984 during the half hour before the unveiling of the initial Macintosh. Fassbender grows more convincing with every furious line of dialogue. In the 30 minutes he spends obsessively trying to get his prototype to say “Hello” during the keynote speech, Jobs disavows being the father of his daughter, humiliates her mother (Katherine Waterston) and lights the verbal matches that will eventually burn down the bridges connecting him to his boss (Jeff Daniels), his colleague (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his brainiac best friend, Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen). Perhaps his most rewarding confrontations are those with Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), the marketing manager who effectively doubles as his conscience.

The second section jumps to 1988, as an Apple-ousted Jobs launches his doomed NeXT computer, while the third and final act leaps a decade down the road for the debut of the iMac. By the time the film gets to 1998, Fassbender has not only become the spitting image of the person he’s playing, he’s also made him distinct from his legacy, sprinting along the pencil-thin line between the genius the world got to know and the sociopath we would hear about in whispers.

The bottom line
Fassbender’s impressive performance is worthy of an award.

By David Ehrlich
Time Out Doha,

Steve Jobs

  • Duration: 128
  • Released: Thu, 12 Nov
  • Language: English
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

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