Mon 11 Jan 2016
The second film in the mini-festival of Steve Jobs movies that I enjoyed last Friday was also the better one. Danny Boyle, the director of Trainspotting, Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire may have hit gold again, as his Steve Jobs started to collect awards at the Golden Globe ceremony last night, and Michael Fassbender became lead contender to the magic statuette to be awarded for Best Actor on February 28. What is the secret?
The film based on a script by Aaron Sorkin (who also brought to screen the character of Facebook’s Zuckerberg) is very different from the other biopic (‘Jobs’) or from the documentaries dedicated to the man and the entrepreneur who was Jobs. It catches three half-hours prior to three major announcements in the career of Jobs, but does not deal almost at all with the technicalities – they deal with the atmosphere (ordered chaos we can call it), with the encounters of Jobs with people who are close to him – his technical partner Wozniak, his business partner John Sculley, and especially his estrange wife and his daughter, whom initially he refused to recognize in one of these attitudes who built his negative perception as a father and human in the eyes of the public. The situations repeat and escalate, but the relationship with his daughter provide the missing human dimension. We may not understand more of the hi-tech genius of Jobs, but we gain more understanding about the man and father he was.
Besides the smart script, acting is the second winning card that makes ‘Steve Jobs’ the better Jobs film. Michael Fassbender avoids replicating the physical characteristics of Steve Jobs and focuses on his personal life and the relations with his partners and close ones (as close as he let them be). Kate Winslet builds the character of Joanna Hoffman who was the right-hand of Jobs but gets a much more extended role than she played in reality. You may not recognize her at first sight, as this role is pretty far from her usual gallery. A Globe is hers already, other awards may follow.
By focusing on a specific segment of Jobs’ personality this movie succeeded to give a better view of the whole. Yet, it’s only one facet of a huge personality that remains from many other points of view an enigma, and maybe character for more movies.