Steve Jobs, directed with enthralling theatrical verve by Danny Boyle, is a deliriously intellectual crafted biopic befitting the enigmatic tech visionary.
Neatly structured into three acts – that are respectively set across three pivotal product launches (spanning 1984 to 1998) – what essentially transpires is a riveting backstage drama. In the minutes and seconds leading up to his famed onstage addresses, Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is simultaneously haranguing staff to the limits of human endurance – grappling with the psycho– drama between he and co–founder/substitute brother Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak (Seth Rogen) and surrogate father and betrayer John Scully (Jeff Daniels) – and rehearsing technical info about the next world changing product he is about to roll out. All the while we hear the distant foot stomping of his adoring, cult-like audience ramping up the suspense of Daniel Pemberton’s score. At Jobs’ side throughout is his ever–loyal confidant and marketing guru Joanna Hoffman (ever–brilliant Kate Winslet). She provides a much–needed voice of conscience to temper his coolly rational algorithms for explaining humanity. Much of the bristling smartness that propels the calamitous drama comes from Aaron Sorkin’s script based on Walter Isaacson’s authorised biography of the same name. As with his pr obing character study into Zuckerberg (similarly alienating through his brusque and demanding style) in The Social Network, Sorkin employs his trademark breakneck dialogue as his primary storytelling device. There are times at which the words challenge just how quickly one can process information, and it ’s uncertain as to what extent people really talk that way, but the result never suffers. When the performances, the script and the direction are as good as they are in Steve Jobs, you can’t help but be swept up by the immediacy and audacity of what very smart people can do. Steve Jobs opens on Thursday, February 4. Rated M