By Jack Dignan
If you were left unsatisfied with 2013’s on-screen portrayal of Apple’s co-founder, don’t be alarmed. Now, in February 2016 (or earlier if you live overseas), you will finally be able to witness the genius of Steve Jobs, as this latest biopic is something rather special. From director Danny Boyle, the man behind Trainspotting, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire, and writer Aaron Sorkin, who gave us The Social Network and A Few Good Men, comes one of the most unique biopics you will ever watch.
Steve Jobs follows the story of.... well.... Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender). The thing is, this isn't your typical biopic. We don't witness his rise, fall and redemption. We don't see his life story. We get none of that. Instead, we're treated to three individual scenes, all of which are shown in real time. These three scenes all take place backstage before the launch of a product, all at different points in Steve's life. The film explores his relationships with his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston), their daughter (Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, Peria Haney-Jardine), his co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), his boss and former partner (Jeff Daniels) and the head of marketing, Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet). It's a look inside the mind of this modern day genius, showing both the good and the bad sides of him, and it puts all other recent biopics to shame.
Nobody can write dialogue quite like Aaron Sorkin, and with Steve Jobs, he's once again written a masterpiece. Sure, writers such as Quentin Tarantino are famous in their own rights, and while I do prefer his movies, even his writing, as fantastic as it is, is extremely different to Sorkin. Sorkin has a way with words. Every line he writes is something magical. It's like poetry. I found myself constantly in awe at the words he's able to put on screen, no matter who's saying it. Every line would fit and it would fit exceptionally well.
The film's got just three scenes, yet there's never a slow or uninteresting moment. Steve Jobs is a film that just keeps on going, full of energy, conflict and, thanks to Sorkin's writing, perfect dialogue, too. The film is so vibrant and alive, constantly moving forward despite not much besides talking actually going on. It's a bunch of characters arguing about Steve's way of life and yet, looking away just isn't an option. My eyes were glued to the screen, my heart pounding. Boyle's direction never stops, and the film's score is rather mesmerising. Everything comes together tremendously, resulting in a film that's bursting with life.
Michael Fassbender kills it as Steve Jobs, and if DiCaprio doesn't get his Oscar this month, we know who to blame. Fassbender's performance is everything you'd want out of him and more, and I truly believe that this is his best work yet. Another standout is Kate Winslet, who is essentially Steve's best friend, and she's also spectacular. Watching the two of them together on screen is all sorts of brilliance, but it won't beat a stand out scene between Fassbender and Jeff Daniels halfway though that's a scene you will never forget. Ever. It's that good. Of course, everyone in this movie, from the actresses who played his daughters to Seth Rogen, are great, but it's these two (plus Daniels, I guess) that really stood out for me.
Throughout all three scenes, the same characters are constantly reappearing, and it's not until the very end that we get the emotional payoff I was waiting for. The film could not have ended in a more perfect way, and the scene is so good that I nearly cried. This wasn't because it's sad or heartbreaking or anything like that, but simply because it was a good ending. It was done so well, I wanted to cry, and yes, it's safe to say that this film moved me. I wasn't expecting this film to emotionally punch me in the nose, but that's just what it did, and it might've broken my nose, too.
To sum up, Steve Jobs is a biopic that puts biopics to shame. All of the cast are splendid, particularly Michael Fassbender, and the writing is absolute perfection. The score is great, as is the camera work, and the film's ending is a scene that's resonated with me ever since I saw it.