Steve Jobs, a biopic about the famed Apple founder starring Michael Fassbender, opened in early fall, and has been holding steady in the wake of the award season roll-out. Audiences will be taking another look at this excellent film now that Steve Jobs is getting some awards attention: Golden Globes, SAG, among them.
At brunch at the Vault in the St. Regis Hotel last week, writer Aaron Sorkin spoke about his script, loosely based on Walter Isaacson's biography. Of course Jobs is best known for the creation of the Apple brand, and for his inspiring message Think Different, and the movie's 3 acts are organized around product launches in stages of the Apple computer, the 3-act structure very much a Danny Boyle flourish if you look at films like 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire.
But what makes this a compelling movie is family, whether that consists of the friends and foes in the industry, including father surrogate John Sculley played so well by Jeff Daniels, or by the women, ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, with Katherine Waterston in the role, his assistant Joanne Hoffman, the superb Kate Winslet, and his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs (Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, Perla Haney-Jardine) who never spoke to Isaacson for the biography, but did contribute to Sorkin's script. Whether you liked him or not, Jobs was a tough man to call your dad, boyfriend, business collaborator, or boss. And none of that quasi-likability makes him any less fascinating.
This could easily have been a testosterone laden feature, as is the case of several of the season's most celebrated films, The Big Short, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, to name a few movies that focus on what men do. But Sorkin teased out the women in Jobs' life to great effect. Back at the New York Film Festival where Steve Jobs was the Centerpiece, when I asked Katherine Waterston what she thought of her characters' masochistic relationship with Jobs, she said, Chrisann could not shake him off, like an addiction. "They were hippies together."
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.