For as long as I can remember, my family has been in love with Apple products. We were one of those families that actually had an old Macintosh in our house before they were popular. My first computer was a MacTV and I cherished until I was almost 18 years old. There was never anything else for me. I couldn’t even comprehend why people wanted a PC. They were clunky, complicated, constantly needed more memory, and were prone to crashing. Apple was the product for me.
Steve Jobs was my dads hero. Man, I remember hearing about what he and Apple were up to my entire life. Even beyond his grave, the brilliant marketing campaigns and television commercials that he revolutionized are something talked about over every family get together. To say that Steve Jobs and Apple were a big part of my life would be an understatement. They have helped shape my very existence.
So, I am happy to report to you that there is finally a movie about Jobs that is worthy of his great accomplishments. One that is deeply critical of his controlling nature and his shitty job as a parent, but equally illuminating when it comes to his visionary understanding of the technology of the future and what consumers want. His genius is one that is almost unequalled by anyone in his field and will forever remain highly revered.
The biggest reason for the success of this film that it is written and directed by two of the best in the business. We have seen a Jobs biopic before and not that long ago. Yet, that film barely even registers in my memory. It was such a standard biopic. A film that played like the greatest hits of the man and provided little insight. Which is why Oscar winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) decided it would be much more interesting to shape his story around 3 important moments in his life. Each being a product launch that would change everything.
The first is the launch of the Macintosh in 1984. Then we see behind the scenes of the failed Next computer in 1988. It all culminates with his first great success in 1998. I’m, of course, referring to the iMac. Each one of these sections is about 35 minutes long and progressively more entertaining than the last. Most of this is because of the whip fast dialogue that bounces the audience from one event to the other, but none of that would work if it wasn’t for the outstanding performances.
Michael Fassbender gives an Oscar worthy performance as Jobs. He is in almost every single moment of this film and he captures the fast paced dialogue with perfection. Yet, it’s his ability to pull off Jobs slow transformation as a father that is the most impressive. Equally impressive is his assistant and sparring partner, Joanna Hoffman. Joanna is played by Kate Winslet in the best role she’s had since she one her Oscar. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get nominated for her work here as well. Seth Rogen does the best work of his career as Apple computer creator Steve Wozniak. Jeff Daniels is perfect as former Apple CEO John Sculley. Honestly, the entire cast is picture perfect in every little role.
Still, all of this would mean nothing without assured direction and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) gives that 110 percent. His trademark messy style is mostly tamed here, but when it occasionally peeks it’s head through it is brilliant. As a matter of fact, there is a good argument to be made that Boyle was a better fit for the material than David Fincher. Many may consider it a gimmick, but I really like the way he used different film for each act and closed with digital. Bottom line, this film is the best movie you could ask for about this genius and what he did for the information technology world.
In stores on Tuesday, February 16.