Much like the war between Volcano and Dante’s Peak, and Lambada and The Forbidden Dance, the Ashton Kutcher starring 2013 instant punchline Jobs now has some serious competition in what many will see as “the REAL movie about Steve Jobs”, Trainspotting/28 Days Later/Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle’s aptly titled Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs’ unconventional structure, the brainchild of Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin, offers three vignettes into the life of the influential tech giant, bringing us from 1984 through 1998, the unsuccessful launch of the original Macintosh, the subsequent failure of Jobs’ forgotten NEXT computer and his eventual triumphant return to Apple and landmark success with the iMac.
Given the episodic nature of the plot there is a real lack of an emotional through line here, aside from Jobs’ somewhat tacked on feeling interactions with his illegitimate daughter Lisa, luckily the acting is outstanding across the board and is sure to keep viewers glued to the screen. Michael Fassbender simply disappears into the role of Jobs to the point where you no longer see the erstwhile Magneto at all and are instantly drawn into this polarizing figure’s skewed worldview. Seth Rogen is similarly mesmerizing as Jobs on again/off again partner Steve Wozniak, as are Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels in supporting roles.
Don’t expect to be drawn into the creation of any technological marvel here, or to sympathize with it’s often reviled creator, Sorkin made Mark Zuckerberg’s tortured soul more palatable as he created his Facebook Frankenstein’s Monster but that isn’t the goal here. Think of this as a cinéma vérité docudrama, there isn’t much to this story that isn’t already a matter of public record but the performances are the incompatible screws that hold the whole thing together, and should definitely not be missed.
Steve Jobs is currently in limited release and opens everywhere on October 23rd.