The Danny Boyle directed, three-act ‘screen/play’, ‘Steve Jobs,’ proudly places its’ Aaron Sorkin screenplay front-and-center, at times to the detriment of what is a compelling, engrossing micro-portrait of a technological icon and notoriously prickly personality. Where something like the David Fincher / Sorkin collab, “The Social Network,” used its’ sharp screenplay to drive stylized visuals and sound into a film that transcends the typical biopic, this new film applies the ‘walk-and-talk,’ subtle visual framing more associated with Sorkin’s television work and doesn’t relay the subject matter beyond the subject himself. This is mainly due to the much discussed structure of the film, turning it into more of a stage play than a typical biopic.
Breaking the screenplay into three distinct points in time for the subject, the launch announcements for the original Macintosh in 1984, Jobs’ NEXT edu-desktop in 1988 (after he was ostracized from his own company), and the revitalized Apple’s iMac in 1998, creates an interesting but flawed representation of both the professional and personal tribulations of the movie’s subject, played enigmatically by the talented Michael Fassbender. In each of the three scenarios, Jobs is about to take the stage, but during his preparation he is visited by the same individuals who reveal aspects of his personality at different, pivotal times in his life. While this approach makes for revealing and involving dynamic conversational scenes, it does come off as contrived and overly coincidental. This is obviously intended by the creators of the film, but this type of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ approach can have a negative effect on an audience looking for a more literal representation of the reality of events . . .
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Written By: Aaron Sorkin
Running Time: 122 min.
* * * (out of 4 stars) -OR- B