“Steve Jobs (2015)” Review

No. The Mac is beige, I’m beige, the disk is blue, the shirt has to be white.

Why did I watch it?

Molly’s Game rekindled my appetite for post-West Wing Sorkin and I haven’t seen this or the last 6 episodes of The Newsroom.

Did it meet expectations?

I was intrigued when this project was announced about the 3 part structure – the entire film, this portrait of the co-founder of Apple Computers, is supposed to be just three product launches (the Mac, the Next Cube and the iMac). In fact, enough flashback and ‘intervening years’ montage is needed that this starts to feel more like a gimmick than a genuine tribute to Apple-style minimalism.

I’ve watched many an Apple launch but I’m not sure I want to see behind the scenes. I’m not expecting to like the obsessive and controlling Jobs who, effective though he may have been in bringing the lovely tech to market, was probably not a lot of fun to be around. That’s before we even touch on his family life, which this film is keen to explore. Winslet’s role, therefore, as Armenian marketing exec Joanna Hoffman, is crucial in giving us some reason to care about Fassbender’s Jobs. We care, because she does. There’s something of a Josh/Donna relationship between them; and Winslet is always incredibly watchable.

Other names from the early days of Apple such as Wozniak and Sculley are here (the latter is The Newsroom‘s Jeff Daniels). I know so little about them that I have no way of assessing how accurate Sorkin’s take may be, but he makes interesting characters of them. But ultimately that’s perhaps the film’s main flaw: like an Apple Event it’s entertainingly watchable for the time it’s on screen but you’re going to need your other sources to help you sift the facts from the hype.

You should watch it if…

  • You’ve a weakness for reality distortion fields

You shouldn’t watch it if…

  • You’re expecting one more thing

Next up: The Post (2018)

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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