Film Review: Steve Jobs. Not Jobs. Steve Jobs!

In 2013, audiences were treated to a biopic of Steve Jobs called Jobs. It starred Ashton Kutcher as the Apple businessman, and now we have another film about him just two years later now called Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender. Is there a reason as to why this one person has gotten two biopics about him in such a short amount of time?

Steve Jobs takes place at three major launches of Steve Jobs’ career, 1984 with the Macintosh, 1988 with the NeXT box, and finally, 1998’s showcase of the iMac. This film goes deeply into the behind-the-scenes act of each launch, showing just exactly what was going on, such as the Macintosh not being able to say “hello” to the audience, or drama arising from the characters. By the end of the film, audiences will get a better understanding of who Steve Jobs was and what he truly did.

    For a while, there were several casting choices for playing Steve Jobs from actors such as George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christian Bale, but all turned it down. There were more considerations, but it was not until December of 2014 where Fassbender was confirmed for the role alongside Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak (a high point in his acting career.)

    Fortunately, casting Fassbender was a brilliant choice as he brings in a career best performance. He brings such personality to the role where I cannot see DiCaprio or Bale being better portrayals. There are times where an actor can be so popular where it is distracting to really get into their characters so it was a perfect fit for Fassbender as he is not the most popular of Hollywood actors. Yet.

    Kate Winslet portrayed Joanna Hoffman, an original Macintosh and NeXT team member and personal confident of Steve Jobs, and Jeff Daniels portrayed John Sculley, former president of Pepsi-Cola (1977-1983) turned CEO of Apple (1983-1993). Both do amazing jobs by bringing their A game to this film to deliver some of their best work in years. Winslet excels as being a genuine supporter for Jobs and Daniels showcases a very well and determined businessman.

    The two aspects that really stuck out to me (aside from the acting) were the writing and music. Aaron Sorkin, who is most known for his writing in Moneyball and The Social Network, is back to write the script here and it really shows it was him with his distinct style. All have heavy emphasis on business talk and behind-the-scenes topics like backstabbing and planning, and is done very well here.

    The music was unbelievable. I would have never thought that one of the best original scores from 2015 would be from a film about Steve Jobs. The scenes in which characters get into a very conflicting discussion, the music is brought in and just brings each scene to a whole new level. It is transformed from just a discussion to a higher and grander scale. As of now, I really hope this film gets an Academy Award for its score.

The biggest concern I had with this film from just hearing an announcement sometime after Jobs came out was wanting to know why exactly people in Hollywood are wanting to make another film on Steve Jobs. Did Jobs really dissatisfy everyone to find it necessary to quickly get the next film about the popular CEO of Apple out to the public? I never and still have yet to even see Jobs so I am not able to tell.

In terms of accuracy, I really don’t think it is all that truthful. If not already aware of the characteristics yet, but Steve Jobs was a major drug addict who also was not the nicest to his family. The film definitely shows off Jobs as neglecting and very mean spirited toward his past love and child throughout the film, but the drug aspect of him was never brought up, so I am not entirely sure if the rest of the story is that accurate.

Regardless of both concerns, this film is still wonderful. At first, I was not that impressed with it. The feeling of the film and what they were going for felt very different from a lot of films audiences are usually accustomed to. But after a bit, the audience should be able to adjust with the film and that is where Steve Jobs starts to show its high qualities.

While the film focuses more on his personal life, it is still very enjoyable to follow Jobs around and interact with all of the characters. The film even took me off guard at times because I never really knew where it was going to go. I did not know if the character was going to go through some sort of character arc and change his way or just stay the same throughout. Everywhere the film went, I was pleasantly surprised by every choice it made and went for.

While I do think it was a bit too soon to have another movie focusing on former CEO Apple member, Steve Jobs is still a very extraordinary film. It gave some Oscar worthy performances from Fassbender and Rogen as well as the original score, and was even surprising at times on where it was going. This exceeded my expectations and I can say this is one of my personal favorite films of this year. Interested? See it. If not, “Think Different” and definitely look into it. It won’t disappoint.