Steve Jobs (2015) - Danny Boyle
Personally, Hollywood's obsession with the biopic drives me crazy, due mainly to the large majority of them being very by-the-numbers, as well as having a very skewed perspective that only seems to focus on the positives and not paint a vivid portrait of a true human-being. We all have flaws, and fortunately with Steve Jobs, the film doesn't make these same mistakes, being a vivid portrait of an innovative man told in a rather unique way. As one would expect from any film from Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs is a very sharp, lively script which does a magnificent job of capturing the heart and soul of a man who was consumed by his passion for innovation. I particularly loved how the primary structure of the film is set across the various launches of Steve Jobs' latest products, an ingenious device that not only creates a unique narrative structure, but more importantly this decision perfectly encapsulates its subject, a man in Steve Jobs who is defined by his products and judges his success as a human-being entirely by the success of his various innovations. The performances in Steve Jobs are all top notch, particularly Michael Fassbender, who does an incredibly job at capturing the nuance of a man in Steve Jobs who is a good soul, but overly demanding of everyone around him, pushing people away and alienating his loved ones in his pursuit of perfection. I liked that the film captures how Jobs was not a creator but a genius marketer and innovator, with one of my favorite scenes of the entire film being a heated exchange towards the end between Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), one of chief coder/engineers responsible for creating many of the products Jobs envisioned. The heart and soul of the film is centered around Jobs relationship with his daughter Lisa, a young woman who Jobs essentially denied was his daughter for years when she was young, only to further alienate her due to his obsession with innovation. While these paternal dynamics do deliver some powerful sequences throughout, thanks largely to Fassbender's acting and Sorkin's dialogue, Steve Jobs completely crumbles in its final minutes, with one of the most forced, mind-numbing endings I've seen in awhile. It doesn't even feel like the same film, and without going into details, the last few minutes of the film essentially betrays everything before it, with Boyle's direction being laughably manipulative and corny in a way that would make the Hallmark channel blush. Overall, Boyle's direction in general is somewhat hit-or-miss, injecting the film with a great sense of style and unique ideas which at times provide expressive, visual storytelling, while other times these decisions unfortunately are all flash and little substance. While the film has its issues, Steve Jobs is a very solid biopic about an innovative man, but perhaps the film's most interesting aspect is how it captures the arrogance often times associated with success, capturing the alienation and even cruelty towards others it often breeds.
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