It does the Job nicely

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

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.

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