The new biopic "Steve Jobs" is as much about Aaron Sorkin's screenplay as it is about the man behind Apple. Sorkin's "walk and talk" way of delivering cogent dialogue dominates the film from beginning to end and is the best part of the movie and the worst. Jobs' story as told on the screen is one that impresses but it does not entertain. This is not a movie for the masses and only those looking for and appreciative of an artistic experience will be drawn to it.
The film focuses on three major events in Jobs' life when he was introducing new products to the public. These events occurred in 1984, 1988 and 1998. There is little shown of Jobs' (Michael Fassbender) life prior to this time and all of his early experiences with Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) creating computers in a garage are given short shrift.
Most of the personal story involves Jobs' relationship with his daughter Lisa. Her mother Chrisann (Katherine Waterston) and Jobs were never married and during Lisa's early years he denied being her father. This led to major problems between father and child that last until the end of the film. Jobs also has major problems with his father figure mentor John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), Wozniak and co-worker Andy Hertzfield (Michael Stuhlbarg).
The only constant "friend" in his life is his advisor/manager Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet). Theirs is an odd relationship that is never fully explained, but it is definitely a supportive one. Joanna loves Lisa and acts as a bridge between father and daughter.
Fassbender is fascinating as Jobs and projects his aloofness while also revealing his needs. He is on screen in just about every scene but the audience never tires of him. What they do tire of is the constant movement down long hallways by one supporting character or another, always in the company of Jobs. They have discursive conversations which are brilliantly written but overbearingly drawn out.
The movie is rated R for profanity.
There is much to be admired about the film. It is brilliantly acted and insightfully written. It is also well directed by Danny Boyle, and the musical score by Daniel Pemberton adds support to each and every major scene.
Still there is nothing in the movie that pops, nothing that creates an emotional response in the audience. The first half of the film borders on boring and tedious and the pace only picks up in the second half. By that time numbness has set in and the "brilliant" dialogue is lost amid the feeling that these people just plain talk too much, and do too little.
I scored "Steve Jobs" a talkative 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper