This article was originally published to The Edge on 21st March 2016
Biopics are still made, but all too often they’re without talent or ambition, just good intentions to record someone’s life, cradle to grave. A greatest hits album. In this way, Steve Jobs is the anti-biopic.
Michael Fassbender brings Jobs to life with magic. He’s so magnetic that from the audience’s view his arrogance and cruelty is entertaining and diminished. The supporting cast remind you how truly frustrating he is. Kate Winslet’s Joanna Hoffman has an exasperation throughout the film that reaches its peak in the iMac launch of the final act. Seth Rogen plays co-founder Steve Wozniak, the most likeable character of the whole cast, and the owner of some of the film’s most emotional moments. Apart from Jobs’ daughter Lisa, the centre of his arc.
Sorkin’s last film The Social Network is the superior one: packed with financial, legal, and technical dialogue, masking a very human and relatable core. Here, while those conversations are had, it’s mostly Jobs that’s obsessed with them, and with the product. His friends and enemies all talk to him about humans, about emotions. As the film unfolds Jobs opens up, mainly thanks to the actions of his daughter. Sorkin always writes with unerring complexity and brilliance, masking the core dramas at his stories’ hearts. Here, he’s writing about Jobs, himself, and hundreds of other creators – Dylan, Turing, and Mitchell are all name-checked. Broken people can make great things, even when they alienate people from them. But their work is all to inspire and empower another generation.
Steve Jobs (2015), directed by Danny Boyle, is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK by Universal Pictures International. Certificate 15