Steve Jobs (1 1/2 Stars)

 

stevejobsposter

This film had potential and the acting from Kate Winslet and Michael Fassbender was outstanding. I just ended up with a headache from watching this film. However, my Dad really liked the film and he is the computer gig who lived through this period…so maybe if you’re a computer geek you may enjoy it more.

The film is set around three events and focuses on the making of Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender). The first two, his failures of the overpriced and non-customisable Macintosh in 1984, The all-glamerous non-substance NeXt Cube (1988) and then finally the game changer: The IMac. The film takes place in the same building, or at least it really looks like the same building and towards the end Apple have customised it backstage – so I think it is the same building. It mostly revolves around Steve’s relationship with the mother of his child, Chrisann (Katherine Waterstone), his daughter, Lisa, his ‘work wife’ Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), as well as Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) and Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg).

The film is basically the same arguments played over three scenes from 1984-1998. You get the difficult and strained relationship of Chrisann and Steve, who Steve thinks is just trying to get money out of her. His daughter Lisa, who he refuses to acknowledge as his daughter and who can see if under immense difficultly to cope with her mother – yet he never steps in to help. Then his strained relationships with co-workers, Joanna who tries to keep Steve’s personal and business personas on track. His Co-founder Wozniak; the real brains behind apple and the struggling relationship to acknowledge their beginnings and Andy Hertzfeld – a key engineer who Steve bullies to get things his way.

The film is designed to show Steve as an asshole, he’s not an engineer – he’s a conductor. He plays those with talent to get the image of a computer from his head. Let’s face it, he had some brilliant ideas, but the film leaves you with the impression that he is the star – undeservedly so. The film selectively shows Steve at his most stressful points of his career, the three launches – a time when the worst comes out in people – especially Steve.

One of the things I really liked was the homage to Alan Turing – with the apple rainbow logo meant to represent him…Steve merely says Apple was taken from a list of words that were aesthetically pleasing. Is that the real reason behind Apple? Or is it like the Lisa, the origin is clear but Steve can’t handle the truth so makes up a lie to cover it?

I think you’d appreciate this film more if you didn’t get a headache from the arguing and like computers. Maybe it’s a good thing the film stripped away from of the foundation myths (such that Steve was fired unfairly from Apple) and presented the real person, but I can’t help question if the one-sidedness was really necessary. What was he like outside of the highly stressful computer launches?

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