I really am a huge fan of Michael Fassbender, and I was very happy to see him land a huge role like this, which should have seen him storm the US and become a true Hollywood A-lister. It is a real shame then that ‘Steve Jobs’ was ultimately a flop at the box-office. I have to admit, I didnt exactly rush to the cinema to catch it. Despite poor audience turnouts, ‘Steve Jobs’ isn’t doing too bad with the critics, and going into awards season, Fassbender’s performance has been recognised by most, including The Academy, and Aaron Sorkin’s impeccable screenplay was also acknowledged with a Golden Globe win, before being snubbed in the Oscar nominations.
I imagine we are all familiar with the name Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple and the man who pretty much revolutionised the Western World with his technological designs. This biopic charts the rise (and many falls) of the man himself, as he attempts to introduce a very impressive, very expensive machine to the public. Of course, as with any good biopic, there’s plenty of personal issues thrown in like an illegitimate daughter and her unstable mother, friends becoming enemies and an assistant who stands by him through it all.
I am yet to see Fassbender give anything less than an impeccable performance, but this is a very different performance to what we are used to. I’ve seen him excel as a sex-mad, slightly strange but charming man (on a couple of occasions actually), as a roguish cowboy, he took on the mantle of a young Magneto and matched up to Sir Ian McKellen, and he even managed to impress me with a huge Frank Sidebottom papier-mache head, but this is a career best from Fassbender. The sheer intensity and technicality of his dialogue alone is outstanding, but Fassbender draws on all his past roles and combines them into a stand-offish, arrogant, very intelligent but very troubled man with a glimmer of charm somewhere in there. His portrayal of Jobs is one of a relentless, insufferable dickhead, but someone who we’re kinda rooting for deep down. Will he pick up an Oscar? I doubt it. But he’s on his way, and it won’t be long until he does get a gold statue.
In support, I wasn’t overly impressed by Kate Winslet, who got the Golden Globe for supporting actress. I thought she was good, and she bounced off Fassbender pretty well, but it was nothing special. Seth Rogen, I’m sorry but you are not and never will be a serious actor. I don’t like the guy as a comedy actor all that much, but stick to what you’re adequate at, man. You’re not Jonah Hill, just write funny stuff and do your stupid laugh.
This is an uncharacteristic project choice for Danny Boyle; before watching it I would have said he wasn’t the right man for the job, but the guy kinda pulled it off you know. It was a very slick production, which felt very authentic and the pacing was absolutely spot on. Whilst Danny Boyle wouldn’t appear to be the right man for the job, Aaron Sorkin was most definitely always going to be the man to pen the script. And what a script it is, with a good balance of technical, intelligent language, touches of humour and a perfect dramatic edge. Much in the way his screenplay for ‘The Social Network’ was right on the money, the adaptation of the life of Steve Jobs onto the screen is moulded so expertly by Sorkin, who really seems to have a knack for biopic screenplays. An absolute shoe-in for the Oscar you would have thought? I don’t know why The Academy have overlooked Sorkin, but it’s a big mistake.
Ultimately, it’s hard to separate this film and ‘The Social Network’, as they are both very similar in subject matter, in tone and in quality. If you enjoyed ‘The Social Network’, ‘Steve Jobs’ is right up your street, Albeit ever-so-slightly less entertaining. After watching this film, I am incredibly surprised by the poor box-office results it received, particularly in the US. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Steve Jobs’ and I just wish I had seen it sooner.
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels