It does the Job nicely
STEVE JOBS ( M)
Director: Danny Boyle ( Slumdog Millionaire) Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg Verdict: Always compels. Does not always compute.
BY the time of his death in 2011, Apple co- founder and two- time CEO Steve Jobs was the company’s high priest, dictator and ringmaster, all at once.
A visionary dreamer. A petty holder of grudges. A titan on the world stage. A terror at the boardroom table. A major salesman who could pitch anything. A micromanager who couldn’t let go of anything. A man. A monster.
Anyone who has read Walter Isaacson’s best- selling biography – from which this new biopic has been ( very selectively) adapted – will already be well aware of the complexities and contradictions that surged through Steve Jobs on a daily basis.
Those readers will be the viewers most taken aback by what the movie chooses to either examine in minute detail, or leave out altogether.
In fact, the whole of Job’s life story has been stripped from the narrative, with the exception of three significant moments.
A complete act of Steve Jobs is devoted entirely to each of these events, all of which are elaborately staged product launches that simultaneously brought the best ( the appealing pitchman) and worst ( the appalling perfectionist) out of the subject. Just to clarify, this is Steve Jobs ( played superbly by British actor Michael Fassbender) on the evenings he introduced the world to the Macintosh ( 1984), the NeXT ( 1988) and the iMac ( 1998).
Working from a characteristically walky- and- talky screenplay from writer Aaron Sorkin ( The Social Network and TV’s The West Wing), director Danny Boyle confines each segment of Steve Jobs to dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces and corridors away from the main stage.
Those permitted to be close to him are great sources of support, attentive listeners and worthy sparring partners. These same allies can also become an enemy in Jobs’ eyes.
The bottom line when it comes to Steve Jobs the movie is that you must accept it will not be painting the big picture of Steve Jobs the man.
This is one small corner of a portrait, magnified to the extreme. If you find this product user- friendly, it will be due to the aptly intuitive design of Fassbender’s excellent performance in the title role.