New York Film Festival Review: ‘STEVE JOBS’ The idol and the narcissist.

SteveJobs-NYFF53-fullSteve Jobs posterSteve Jobs: Humanity may recognize his face quicker than any religious leader, sports icon, historical figure… even Kardashian. The world knows this man. But, do they really?  Danny Boyle‘s new film, based upon the biography by Walter Isaacson, focuses on three specific moments in the life of Jobs; the launches of the Macintosh, Next, and the iMac. You may think you know the man that inspired the internet in your pocket, but truly you have no idea.stevejobs0004

The unmistakable dialogue from Aaron Sorkin breathes life into this film. Steve Jobs takes off running right out of the gate without a moment’s rest in it’s 122 minute run time. Each of the three sequences appearing in “real time” as they play out on screen. Sorkin admitted in the press conference following the screening that he has a bit of an obsession with time itself. The pacing is unreal. You have no idea how far you are into the movie at any given time as his dialogue is lush but never verbose. The entire cast nails each beat precisely.

steve jobs michael fassbender Lisa Still

If you haven’t read Isaacson’s book, you may not have a clear picture of Jobs. While he was adored by those in the public and those closest to him, the man was no saint. Self obsessed, “my way or the highway attitude” and in total denial, each move in his career was 1000% calculated. Oftentimes, to the detriment of those personal relationships. This is another brilliant aspect that the film brings in its editing. Each of the three launches is inter-cut with a pivotal moment from the past in which a character had a confrontation with Steve. While the adoration remains, let it be known that everyone in his path at some point reached their emotional limit and let him know it. I would be remiss to ignore the look and feel of each era, including wardrobe, music, and sporadic text visuals that serve to quietly highlight it’s excellence. Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet Steve Jobs

This cast is beyond perfection. Michael Fassbender, who admits he looks nothing like Jobs, did his actor’s due diligence studying YouTube clips of Steve. The rhythm and timbre of his voice and his physicality. Kate Winslet plays Joanna Hoffman, Job’s head of marketing and perhaps closest female friend ever, with a delicious ease. The leftover Polish accent of Hoffman is perfectly captured on Winslet’s lips. Seth Rogen is the ever forgotten genius Steve Wozniak. Rogen’s performance should not be overlooked in this year’s awards nominations. His quiet power does not go unnoticed and the scenes between he and Fassbender are spellbinding. Jeff Daniels, who perhaps has the most experience with Sorkin’s writing with his work on The Newsroom, gives us a knockout performance as Apple CEO John Sculley. Butting heads with Jobs but revealing a while boat load of truth in the process, Daniels also deserves accolades for this role. The cast is rounded out by exceptional portrayals of Crisann Brennan, Jobs’ thrown to the wind ex and mother of his first child, by Katherine Waterston. The emotional torture this woman endured is evident in each scene. Finally, Michael Stuhlbarg is Andy Hertzfeld, Mac software system designer, who often argued with Steve about his closed source software (the reason Mac is incompatible with anything other than Mac, which was probably his most calculated decision ever). Stuhlbarg, like the majority of the cast, spent time with his real life counterpart, getting to know the true ins and outs of who they were to  Steve and who they were as individual innovators. Seth Rogen Steve JobsSTEVE JOBS is both a pretty picture and a not so pretty picture of a man the world still worships. It will take you by surprise in every way possible. A triumph from start to finish, look for, at the very least, massive nominations for all involved come award season. STEVE JOBS comes to theaters in limited release Friday, October 3rd, followed by it’s nationwide release Friday, October 23rd. Stay tuned to Reel News Daily for the latest updates.

  • Directed By Danny Boyle
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP

Anyone going to this provocative and wildly entertaining film expecting a straight biopic of Steve Jobs is in for a shock. Working from Walter Isaacson’s biography, writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Charlie Wilson’s War) and director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) joined forces to create this dynamically character-driven portrait of the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, weaving the multiple threads of their protagonist’s life into three daringly extended backstage scenes, as he prepares to launch the first Macintosh, the NeXT work station and the iMac. We get a dazzlingly executed cross-hatched portrait of a complex and contradictory man, set against the changing fortunes and circumstances of the home-computer industry and the ascendancy of branding, of products, and of oneself. The stellar cast includes Michael Fassbender in the title role, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld. A Universal Pictures release.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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