Movie Review: Steve Jobs

Sarah Wandor
Movie Critic Columnist

The 2015 “Steve Jobs” film, rated R for language, was recommended to me, and I’m glad I watched it because it blew me away. I don’t know how I haven’t heard of this movie before because it is one of the best films I have ever seen.

It went from one situation in the life of Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple who died in 2011, to the next without slowing down. It kept the momentum going the entire time and increased the tension and the energy of the moment it was building up to. I’ve rarely seen a movie pack that kind of punch.

I could hardly look away. It was so captivating and overflowing with an intensity that pulls people into it and leaves them on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens.

The combination of excellent writing and music to reinforce it contributes to this affect. The dialogue is fast-paced and filled with incredible and powerful one-liners as well as impactful monologues. It speaks of the strain and pressure placed on the employees of Apple and the relationships Jobs had.

The music supported much of the dialogue in having similar levels as the conversation that was taking place. It added to emotion and heightened the tension that was happening on screen. This allowed scenes to be more impactful and drew the audience into the film.

The creators also used music to their advantage for particular scenes as well. The music would rise and fall with the energy of particular scenes, most notably in a conversation between Jobs and John Sculley, the CEO of Apple.

Their discussion starts out calm, as does the music. However, as it starts to become more heated and voices are raised, so too does the orchestra build and the tempo quickens. It increases in energy and pace in the same way the scene does, making it far more impactful, emotional and tense.

The performances given by all the actors are also worthy of praise. Michael Fassbender, who portrays Jobs, was lost to his role. He was so absorbed into the role that his entire body became involved.

When he became angry, even his ears would move. His body would tense up, and his eyes were focused. It gave his performance more passion and drive with every word he said. He was a man on a mission, and nothing was going to stop him. This is the best I have seen Fassbender in any role.

Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman and Jeff Daniels as Sculley also gave amazing performances. Winslet was stern, calm and forceful when she needed to be. I didn’t realize it was her with the accent and because of her absorption into the role.

She embodied the characteristics of the only person who could deal with Jobs but also had the buildup of emotions throughout the film. Winslet was able to clearly show how Jobs’ choices affected her and how she stifled it until the end.

Daniels’ performance was the most emotional I have ever seen him be to point of his voice cracking. He really showed the emotional toll of the ways Sculley tried to help smooth things over and the regret he had at losing his temper.

Being able to have the dynamic of balancing caring for someone at the same time as not being able to stand them is hard to do. Yet Daniels did it flawlessly.

How this movie has been out for over five years and I haven’t heard about, I don’t know, but it is one of the best films I have ever seen. It was packed with energy, intensity and emotion that left me speechless.

It has been a long time since I’ve been absorbed into a film, but “Steve Jobs” allowed me to do so. Watch it if you haven’t seen it.


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