Biopics? Man, I watch so little of these and they appeal to me even less that I always go out of my way to avoid it. It feels like Steve Jobs has had a lot of biopics over the last few years. Or maybe its some other influential tech “giant” thats been around and done awesome things. However, Michael Fassbender is up for an Oscars nomination and if you read my review on Fish Tank, well, you know I’m a huge fan of his. Plus, it was one of the few movies with the Best Male Lead for Oscar nominations available.
Let’s check it it out! 🙂
Steve Jobs (2015)
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac. – IMDB
Who remembers the iMac? I was using an iMac in high school. I remembered our computer lab one day filled up with these little weirdly shaped transparent-like computers. They didn’t look like the PC I had at home. I even did my computer class learning HTML codes and binary numbers and designing cutesy colorful labels with those. When I used those computers, I didn’t know who Steve Jobs was. Do I know his history any better as I grew up, even with the explosion of Apple products? Nope. That’s all to say that I don’t know how accurate these depictions of his character is and I’m not one to go digging into his history either. What I am saying is that Steve Jobs is an enjoyable biopic. The idea to focus on Steve Jobs and the people around him highlighting the events of his life and how he faces them differently (or similarly) each of these times is what makes it focused and well done. It shows character development, adds some drama and creates a well enough balance for us to understand this man a little more each time.
What was great about this is that they don’t try to paint Steve Jobs as someone who is perfect. This biopic works hard on focussing on his flaws actually. Steve Jobs is influenced in many ways by his past and the choices he makes are based on one view that he has and his obsession with having control over the end-product. He made mistakes and he actually isn’t afraid to be that person who makes the tough decisions. Just like most successful entrepreneurs, they aren’t exactly glorified human beings. They make ruthless decisions and maybe throw a few people under the bus or whatnot to make sure they succeed. They are extreme at times and stubborn at others and the people around them don’t quite understand what is going on in their minds. The story of Steve Jobs through his three product launch focuses on revealing his character from that first launch, what has changed in the second one and finally who he is by the third one. Michael Fassbender captures that aspect of the character full of observations and monologues very well.
While we see a lot of Michael Fassbender’s Steve Jobs, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and the three girls that play the daughter at different ages play also a big part in amplifying the character development of themselves as their roles also show the importance that they have in his life regardless of how he treats them. It brings out that humanity that we don’t often see in biopics. While the girls that play the daughter’s role tugs on very much the emotional strings and make us see especially that there is an emotional tie that Jobs may not admit but it also makes him susceptible to having feelings as well. However, the show stoppers that really seem to appear in the background but actually are rather central to this story is Kate Winslet’s Joanna Hoffman who is absolutely fantastic in this one and Seth Rogen, playing his innovative friend Steve Wozniak who started this endeavor with Apple II with him. While having a small role, Jeff Daniels deserves quite an applause also. Its nice to see him back in action doing some serious roles. I appreciated his role as John Sculley, who is a pseudo father/mentor in some senses.
With my limited experience of biopics, there isn’t much left to say. Steve Jobs is an excellent movie. Its choice to highlight on 3 significant events of his life while showing his character through his interactions and decisions in those hard-pressed situations while flashing back remotely to some other past scenes makes for a well-paced film. It retains his humanity and that he is also a real person with flaws despite being gifted in many ways. With a powerful cast like Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen and even Jeff Daniels, a well-written script and great directing, Steve Jobs exceeds my every expectation.
Have you seen Steve Jobs? What do you think of it? Are you a fan of biopics?