Doubt if this is the final film/documentary on the Merlin who changed the universe; a complicated, conflicted man whose genius has invaded, conquered our cognizant existence.
Based on Walter Isaacson’s biography (approved by Jobs), screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, director Danny Boyle and the inimitable Michael Fassbender as the forceful, vindictive visionary, “Steve Jobs”, is visually extraordinary, stunningly written, directed and performed; why did it not resonate, or titillate? There were no new insights into the innovator, the “man in the machine”.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) has reached mythical proportions since his death; he’s been lionized, demonized, analyzed ad nauseam; “Warholian”, his ubiquitous, life-altering tools, redolently inform how we thrive in the twenty-first century; in awe of what he has created, diffident in identifying the essence of the man.
The film focuses on his problematic relationship with his daughter “Lisa” ( Makenzie Moss,5; Ripley Sobo, 9; Perla Haney-Jardine, 19) and ex-lover, quasi- hippy Chrisann Brennan (empathetic depiction by Katherine Waterston); his flawed, traumatic history, as an adopted child, cripples most of his relationships.
Jeff Daniels’s performance as John Sculley, Job’s friend, mentor and adversary anchors the film; their scenes penetrate Jobs’ enigmatic roots, unveiling his megalomaniac arrogance and ambition; he describes himself as “poorly made” and under Sculley’s prescient questioning, we see a partial unveiling of the “why”.
Seth Rogan, as Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, gave it his best shot with flimsy material; he’s the Greek Chorus, the harbinger of doom; perpetually whining for just recognition for Apple II employees; Job’s intransigence testifies to his innate, frozen heartlessness.
Compelling, is Job’s association with Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet, her rocket has as yet to reach its orbital peak), a marketing maven, Job’s moral compass, his “Artemis” uncompromisingly protecting him from his explosive and damaged self; his vulnerability surfaces in their scenes, and those with Lisa.
An initial Apple slogan was the “Power to be Your Best”, might apply to the user, but leaves audiences questioning the “core” of the inventor.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!