There have been numerous documentaries and films about the innovations that Steve Jobs created over the 56 years of his life. His contributions to the modern world and the stamp he left is indelible. What is also known about him is his notoriously abrasive personality.
Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle takes a unique look at the man behind some of the most popular products of all time. The film, fittingly titled Steve Jobs, takes a look behind the scenes of three of the biggest launch events in Jobs career and spans over 15 years. While the discussions and interactions are more than likely different compositions of various conversations and interactions with the people that had the most important professional impact on his life.
Danny Boyle teams up with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who is quite possibly the greatest writer of dialogue ever, and delivers the intensity of the crucial discussions in the career of Jobs. Michael Fassbender plays the innovative Jobs and what makes his performance great is that he does nothing to do a Steve Jobs impersonation, he just delivers the lines the way they should be.
The movie opens with an interview with famed Sci-Fi author Arthur C. Clarke describes a computer that will be in every home and does everything that every person in the world takes for granted. Steve Jobs had the same foresight that Clarke had and was almost so far ahead of his time it almost destroyed one of the biggest most profitable companies today.
Jobs first scene backstage in 1983 just before the introduction of the Macintosh home PC, which in hindsight would be the template for every home PC to come. Jobs is interacting with his longtime assistant and the closest professionally person, Joanna Hoffman played by the always on point, Kate Winslet.
In the first of the 3 launches Jobs is backstage, battling with an ex-lover over the paternity of his daughter, who he refused to acknowledge as his own. He is also seen berating an engineer over the operation of the test model.
After a montage of news highlights and newspaper quotes documenting the initial failure of the Mac and the companies ultimate firing of co-founder, Jobs, the second of the three launches is about to get underway in 1988. Again, all those close to Jobs make their way into his day, from his daughter (whom he now acknowledges as his) to his mentor John Sculley (who was responsible for Steve’s ultimate firing and the other co-founder Steve Wozniak. Jobs is about to launch his newest computer with his new company NeXT. His assistant Joanna soon deduces that his new product is all a rouse to make Apple feel he is one step ahead of them and hopefully work his way back in charge.
Fast forward 10 years, Apple is on the verge of bankruptcy and Jobs is back in charge and preparing to present the release of the iMac, which is the first home computer specifically designed for surfing the internet. It is in this section that Jobs ultimately reconciles completely with his daughter and once again is confronted by Steve Wozniak and John Sculley. While the climax is ultimately Jobs and his daughter, I couldn’t help but notice how over all the time and after all the bridges he burned, he continued to be just as abrasive as ever. In the end he wasn’t a very nice guy. He gave the world some of the most innovative and used product, but at what expense to himself?
This, of course, is a movie dramatization of various accounts and that should definitely be taken into consideration. The fact that the film didn’t attempt to glorify Jobs or make him seem like someone he most likely wasn’t. Danny Boyle did a fine job with the quick pace of the typical Sorkin dialogue. Fassbender and Winslet are clearly the high points of the film and for fans of SSorkin’swork that will keep you entertained. It is an interesting way to look at the man whose legend is ever growing, other than a typical biopic format. There is a glimpse into why he was as successful as he was.