by Ryan Guerra
Steve Jobs is written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, stars Micheal Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Now that those formalities are out of the way I will just come out and say it. Steve Jobs is the best dramatic bio-pic I have seen. In fact, it is the best movie I have seen this year. Acted fantastically to the point of realism, the film takes the typical three act story arc and shows us the life of Steve Jobs at three periods of his life right before a product launch where we see Jobs as both innovator and villain alike. Each period consist of the 30-45 minutes of visually stimulating and aggressive cinematography leading up to each product launch and how the major people in Job’s life come in and out of those moments. These moments reveal that seemingly simple interactions with Jobs lead to a constant chess match of words and minds to maintain the reality distortion field of a seemingly great man but seemingly not a very good person. Clearly the film takes some Hollywood liberties, but with the screenplay based off the authorized biography of the same name by Walter Isaacson, the film Steve Jobs is probably the most realistic portrayal we may see of the man himself.
That portrayal is delivered splendidly by Michael Fassbender. Fassbender’s performance though each phase of the film is scary. That is to say he plays the egotistical narcissist to perfection. We get real moments of a cold and calculating manipulative intelligent person with quiet moments of compassion here or there. During arguments, Fassbender knows how to delivers bombs out of moments where you would not expect them and at points those arguments feel like high speed action scenes in an otherwise action less film. It is quite remarkable to witness.
Seth Rogen (uncredited) delivers the best dramatic performance of his career as Steve Wozniak. Michael Stuhlbarg likewise delivers a solid performance that stands in this film. While Jeff Daniels, coming off a great performance in the recently successful film The Martian, delivers an outstanding nuanced performance here across from Fassbender. When the two of them are on screen together it is as if they are speaking high prose to each other, albeit at times screaming. I would not be surprised if Daniels is nomination on his work for this film.
Finally we come to Kate Winslet who plays marketing executive Joanna Hoffman. To me she delivered the most fantastic performance in this film. Perhaps because she was the likable better half to Fassbender but more importantly we see this woman who is the only one to stand up to and in a sense understand Steve Jobs’s reality distortion field and work in and out of it as she desperately tries to hold everything together. We she her grow as someone who clearly loves and admires this man however recognizes his faults and is willing to call him out on them. Winslet reminds us yet again why she is one of the best actress in Hollywood and I predict she will be taking home a little gold statue to go with her performance in this film.
If you are still on the fence about watching this film, let me push you off it. Watch it. That may not mean in theaters, which is perhaps my only small complaint about this film. This is the type of film that would be great if it was released same day on digital distribution so you could watch it a few times from home over a few days while you think about it. But at some point you owe it to yourself to be amazed by the fantastic performances and cinematography of this film. While it may not be something you have to see on the big screen, it is absolutely worth the full price of admission. Do not miss it.
5 out of 5 stars