Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Based on: Walter Isaacson‘s book Steve Jobs
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz
Seen on: 13.11.2015
Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is preparing for product launches at three moments in his life. Just before the shows he puts on, he is confronted with various friends and colleagues who have things to discuss with him in very different stages of his life. But there’s also his daughter Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss) who is trying to build a relationship with her father.
Steve Jobs is a well-paced film with beautiful dialogues that manage to cover up the film’s shortcomings enough that it’s very enjoyable to watch.
I’m not the world’s biggest Aaron Sorkin fan. But he has a knack for writing fast-paced dialogues and that is exactly what this film is built on. Words fly and the time flies along with them. Unfortunately, though, a script isn’t just built on dialogues. While I enjoyed the structure of the film – three moments before three product reveals, all a few years apart, all with the same characters in very different moments in life – what the film lacks is any sense for character development. That means that five minutes before the film ends, we get a sudden change of personality that comes so much out of nowhere that it destroyed the emotional payoff: the ending isn’t touching, it’s laughable.
But up until then you get those dialogues – funny, touching and spot-on – delivered by a stellar cast who bring their A game. Fassbender – only slightly hampered by the fact that every once in a while, his Irish accent shines through – has a magnetic presence and while you don’t necessarily end up liking Steve, he makes sure that he is always interesting. Winslet wrangles every little bit from a role that is unfortunately underwritten, still managing to make Joanna the person to root for in the film.
If it isn’t obvious yet, let me put it in plain words: Steve Jobs is a mixed bag of beans. It’s a high quality production with so many obvious flaws that it’s hard to imagine how they slipped through the eyes of everybody involved. Particularly in a film that is so detailed, it carefully recreates the looks of the time periods not only with costumes and make-up, but also with its cinematography.
In any case there is enough good in the film to keep you engaged throughout. And despite the weak ending, I left the film entirely satisfied and energized by the strength that pulses through its dialogues.