Job Well Done?

Steve Jobs Review

By Craig Wright

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Steve Jobs, the latest effort to hit your local cinema courtesy of Danny Boyle, is a strange film. On the one hand, there’s the undoubted quality of the performances on display. Michael Fassbender is once again superb in the lead role, and actually makes you root against him for most of the film by accurately capturing Jobs’ renowned ‘take no prisoners, care for no one’ attitude. He also succeeds in portraying Jobs as driven to the point of obsession whilst also injecting some lighter tones into his dialogue throughout. The Irishman is steadily becoming one of the most consistent performers in film, and will surely find himself in the reckoning for awards when that particular Hollywood circus rolls around once again. Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen, both arguably known more for their comedic roles than for their turns in drama, also excel, as they take their turns to square off against Fassbender’s Jobs. Despite this, the familial relationship that Jobs has with both characters comes across well, and makes for some great exchanges throughout the film. However, it’s arguably Kate Winslet who steals the show as Jobs’ ‘work-wife’ Joanna Hoffman. Putting on a Polish accent, Winslet regularly goes toe-to-toe with Fassbender in exchanges of fast-paced dialogue, and often manages to act as his moral compass whilst maintaining a degree of respect and affection for her colleague.

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There’s also the matter of the script itself. Aaron Sorkin has made fast-paced dialogue and long walking shots an art form throughout his career – witness The West Wing and The Newsroom as prime examples of this. Steve Jobs is no different, as the conversations between the characters take place at high speed, whilst there is always a constant sense of needing to get to somewhere throughout. Managing to convey the sense of immediacy and urgency no doubt requested by the director, the film greatly benefits from Sorkin’s touch.

However, there is one major flaw in this film. Whilst the character performances are undoubtedly terrific, the film falls slightly flat in terms of an actual plot. The fact that the film takes place over three different product launches makes it slightly difficult to sustain a sense of story, and whilst some people might find it interesting to see how things develop over time, each launch does tend to blur into the next one. The collective performances of the cast, however, just about ensure the film is a success, though.

Catch films like this at the Macrobert Arts Centre

macrobertartscentre.org

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