A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Produced By: Scott Rudin, Danny Boyle, Guymon Casady, Benard Bellew, Chrsitian Colson, Mark Gordon
Written By: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
Running Time: 125 Minutes
When a new iPhone is released, the world stops and enters a frenzy. People line up to be amongst the first to get their hands on the new revolutionary device and allow it to change their lives. Before we now it however, a new model has been released, rendering the previous one old and outdated.
In what felt like half the time between the release of a new iPhone, an updated biopic about the late, ingenious founder of Apple, Steve Jobs has been released, making us forget everything we gathered from the now outdated Ashton Kutcher just 2 years ago.
Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as the turtlenecked mastermind, Steve Jobs is a three-act series of stripped back talking heads that delves behind the scenes in the moments leading up to three iconic product launches in three of the most pivotal times of not just the company’s history, but Jobs’ life as well.
The multi-billionaire technological auteur we knew and loved seems to be exposed for what he truly was off the stage – a human being with human emotions. Boyle’s choice to explore the ‘real’ Jobs during his most tense and vulnerable states is fascinating, particularly over three separate stages before he walks out on stage and takes total control – something he strived for his whole career. According to Boyle, Jobs was controlling, temperamental, hostile, unreasonable, short and stubborn behind the curtain.
The man behind some of the most pivotal, groundbreaking and significant changes in modern human history will forever be remembered for his achievements and accolades, however what Steve Jobs asks the audience is very important when considering the iconic story of Steve Jobs; what does it take to be truly great? What sacrifices are warranted in the name of greatness?
This is a film that shows Jobs in a negative light for the most part, depicting genius and business as an obsessive condition in a cutthroat industry where nothing else matters, not even family.
Dismissive of fatherly responsibilities and solely focused on the progress of the company, Jobs is found all too often heatedly arguing with those closest to him, pushing them away as a result. Yet beneath all of these insights into the Steve Jobs behind the facade of ‘on-stage Steve’, the dialogue and circumstances the character of Jobs faces signifies he is as vulnerable, temperamental, hostile, unreasonable, short and stubborn as the rest of us, which is refreshing to see.
The performance of Michael Fassbender is one that comfortably sits amongst the best of the year.
Transformative, transfixing and genuine, his efforts as Jobs are simply staggering – one forgets that Fassbender and Jobs look nothing alike. No prosthetics or enhancements are required, Fassbender simply becomes somebody else on screen, it’s a masterclass if ever there was one to emerge from 2015.
Not overshadowing the remaining cast in any way, the likes of Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen deliver outstandingly as they play three crucial figures in Jobs’ professional life, sometimes even feeling the need to interfere with his life outside of the company.
The true performer of the film and the one that stands out in every single scene he occupies is writer Aaron Sorkin. What he has been able to accomplish within the screenplay of Steve Jobs is beyond Oscar-worthy.
Although captivating performances are at the forefront during heavily tense scenes of discussion and debate, it’s the words that are spoken and exchanged that attract the most attention and drive the scene so powerfully. Sorkin finds a balance between technological business jargon and simplistic terminology for the audience to understand, however it never dumbs itself down and patronises the audience. The dialogue is wise, challenging, passionate and truly brilliant overall, proving Sorkin sits comfortably in a league above many others in his field.
Juxtaposition works splendidly within scenes occupied by talking heads (which in fact is the entire film). When two characters discuss the past for example, footage from that particular past discussion is interwoven into the present, allowing for the audience to see historical moments play out in front of their very eyes.
We are able to venture behind the curtain and be a fly on the wall during some of the most important discussions in modern history that sealed the fate of certain products, employees and corporations as a whole, but it’s the direction of Danny Boyle with the writing of Sorkin that make it work so well.
The film utilises the three act structure to its advantage, separating itself into a trilogy of forty-minute chapters but creating fluidity and a bleeding connection all the same.
The audience get a sense of continuity within the story and are able to fill in the gaps, both through memory of the recent story and Sorkin’s masterful writing.
Stylistically, the film is shot on three different film stocks that relate to the era being explored. Beginning with 16mm film, moving to 35mm and concluding on digital, the films style tells a story in itself, symbolising technological evolution in its own aesthetic.
Although it may seem to have been thrown upon us far too quickly after 2013, Steve Jobs captures the man most of us may not have been aware of. The face of Apple was not always as sweet and friendly as he appeared on stage, he fought for what he believed in, not matter the cost.
A film exploring the conflict between Jobs and his colleagues, adversaries and family, Steve Jobs appears to be one of the most honest biopics of the year.
Concluding powerfully and with some true heart, it’s not an anti-Apple marketing tool in the slightest. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if audiences come out of the theatre with a greater appreciation for the legendary innovator and the life-changing technology he has provided us with.
Sent from my iPhone.