REVIEW: Steve Jobs

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Review by Dustin Heller

Steve Jobs is the new biographical drama film based on the incredible life of the man who co-founded Apple, Inc.  The film is directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle whose filmography includes Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, and 127 Hours.  The screenplay, written by Aaron Sorkin, is adapted from the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  The lead role of Steve Jobs is played by Michael Fassbender with support coming from Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld.

The film centers on the actual day of three iconic product launch dates in Steve Jobs’ life.  The first day focuses on the launch of the Macintosh (Mac) in 1984 where an overconfident and somewhat arrogant Jobs is ready to take over the world with his new computer.  The second is the launch of the Cube from Jobs’ new company NeXT in 1988 which comes shortly after Apple fired him. Jobs is a little less confident at this launch and definitely has a chip on his shoulder because of all that had happened with Apple.  The third day occurs on the launch of the iMac in 1998 after which Steve Jobs has been re-hired and named CEO of Apple.   Jobs is older and more settled at this launch, but still remains a force.  The film is centered on these three days, but it’s really about his relationships with the individuals in his life: his daughter Lisa and her mother Chrisann, the head of marketing at Apple and NeXT Joanna Hoffman, Apple co-founder and friend Steve Wozniak, and Apple CEO John Sculley.

Steve Jobs isn’t your run of the mill biopic that shows you the man’s journey from beginning to end; instead it focuses on three milestone events that changed history and what was going on in his personal life during these times.  I feel by doing this we get a better idea of who Steve Jobs really was and how he evolved over a 15-year span.  The film is both engaging and very entertaining at the same time and moves along at a nice pace. Aaron Sorkin’s sharp and witty screenplay is already one of the best of the year.  Michael Fassbender is outstanding in the lead role and captures so many of the unique qualities of Steve Jobs.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing his name a lot during awards season early next year.

This is already the second dramatic film made about Jobs’ life, and he only passed away four years ago.  I think that alone speaks volumes about the impact this man had on the world.  The film succeeds in giving us an intimate, behind-the-scenes look into a part of his life that most of us wouldn’t necessarily know about.  Steve Jobs is one of the best films of the year and should be enjoyed by people of all ages.  I think we have a serious Oscar contender on our hands here.

Grade:  A

Steve Jobs opens nationwide in theaters on Friday, October 23.