Fassbender dazzles in Steve Jobs 2015 biopic

Alex Lasher

Steve Jobs is arguably one of the most important figures of our generation, responsible for putting computers in our homes and now even our pockets. This film mirrors some of Jobs’ own characteristics, like obsessive attention to detail and being aesthetically pleasing. The film follows three of the most important periods in Jobs’ life, taking place in 1984, 1988 and 1998. Each sequence’s style of filming corresponds to the time period: 16 mm for 1984, 35 mm for 1988 and digital for 1998, creating a unique look for the film that progresses along with the technological advancements made by Jobs and Apple.

Each period depicted is an important one in Jobs’ life, such as the release date of the Macintosh, the launch of his solo company Next and the launch of his famous iMac. While not a typical biopic, “Steve Jobs” makes this work. We learn everything we need to know about Jobs during these three separate days. We see him in his best moments, and some moments that also happen to be his worst. Each day is high-paced and hectic, with Jobs micromanaging down to the finest detail, whether it be getting the Macintosh to say hello or whether the exit signs will be lit or not. It’s enthralling to watch Jobs bounce from mad man to genius within split seconds of each other like a real-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Michael Fassbender is superb as the titular character, showing both his genius and his flaws. He flashes the brilliance, dedication and relentlessness of Jobs, while not shying away from his arrogance and cruelty.

For all the reverence that surrounds Jobs, he was not a very good man, and the film pulls no punches showing this. The treatment of those who work for him is eye-raising to say the least; Jobs does not care if you like him or not. All he cares about is getting results. The worst is the treatment of his estranged daughter Lisa, who Jobs goes to great lengths to deny as his daughter. Fassbender is in complete command of all aspects of Jobs, and provides a performance that is Academy Award-worthy.

The cast around Fassbender is not to be overlooked. The often-criticized Seth Rogen gives the performance of his career as Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ co-founder and lifelong best friend. Wozniak offers the relief to Jobs’ cold, calculating persona. Wozniak is caring, compassionate and looks at the day-to-day, while Jobs’ view is the big picture. Watching Jobs and Wozniak’s extreme differences interact is compelling, offering some of the best scenes of the film.

“You can be gifted and decent at the same time. It’s not binary,” Wozniak tells Jobs during one of their heated exchanges, and it serves as a powerful theme of the film. Kate Winslet also shines as Joanna Hoffman, Jobs’ personal assistant. Hoffman is the only one who can handle Jobs at his very worst and is one of the only people Jobs confides in and allows to get close to him.

One of the biggest strengths of the film is it never tries to force you to feel one way or another about Jobs. It never paints him as a sympathetic guy worthy of our pity, but it never paints him completely heartless. The film simply shows us who Jobs was, his greatest achievements along with his faults and allows us to make our conclusions about who he really was.

Whether you are a fan of Jobs himself or just a fan of excellent acting, “Steve Jobs” is a must-see film, one that captures your interest from the opening scene and never lets it go.

It is a film that is sure to receive a lot of buzz come awards season.