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Steve Jobs (2015)

July 13, 2016

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Director: Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting)

Bottom Line: Geez, this was kind of a bizarre movie for me to watch having rather recently listened to Steve Jobs’ incredible biography by Walter Isaacson. Obviously a book has the ability to be much more encompassing than a two hour movie, so it wasn’t much of a surprise for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs to feel a bit lacking to me. Jobs’ adoption, childhood, and early days creating Apple are merely glossed over, but these years are critical in defining the moments the film decides to highlight, like his relationships with his first daughter and former partner Steve Wosniak. While the film seems to want to make Jobs’ maturation as a father the largest theme, being a dad never comes across as a priority in the book I listened to, which makes me wonder how many liberties screenwriter Aaron Sorkin made while penning this script. Without a doubt, the acting here is top notch, particularly from Michael Fassbender in the lead role, but there were times where the dialogue seemed overwhelmingly staged – like it was transparent that these people were reciting a script rather than the scene feeling fluid and natural. It really took me out of the movie at times.

Steve Jobs is far from a bad film; in fact, it’s plenty enjoyable, with great acting across the board and an enthralling title character. For me, seeing the father/daughter relationship play such a pivotal role in the story felt… phony. Family was not a priority to this man and while the movie somewhat highlights this fact, it also suggests that he eventually figures it out and well, I just don’t believe that to be true. Steve Jobs was always business first, business second, and business third. If you’re interested in the life of one the tech era’s biggest pioneers, I’d suggest reading his biography over watching this movie – you aren’t going to learn too much here.

Replay Value: It is quite possible I would enjoy this more a second time around and it’s also quite possible the things that bothered me the most the first time would bother me even more!
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Acting nominations for Fassbender and Winslet.

Grade: 5/10 (Watchable)

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