According to the meticulous, compelling and complicated 2011 biography by author Walter Isaacson, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs played a significant role in seven major industries: personal computers, animated films, music, phones, tablet computing, digital publishing, and retail stores. The latest film, from director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Newsroom), chronicles only three major product launches in the former industry, as well as the career of a highly-esteemed and equally-reviled man. The launches include the Macintosh in 1984 (a year before Jobs was ousted from Apple), NeXT in 1988, and the iMac in 1998 (following Jobs' return to Apple a year prior).
Because this is more of a dramatization than a straight biopic, Sorkin uses these three product launches as three separate one-acts (30-40 minutes each), focusing on the behind-the-scenes action, as well as the relationships and conflicts between Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and his colleagues/employees. The film also focuses on his brilliant but complicated personality and worldview, and how it affected the things that he did as well as the people around him. His relationship with his daughter Lisa (played at different ages by Mckenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine, respectfully) is portrayed significantly. (When Isaacson interviewed Jobs for the 2011 biography, one of Jobs’ regrets was the way he handled ex-girlfriend Christann Brennan’s [played by Katherine Waterson in the film] pregnancy, as well as his refusal to accept responsibility as the biological father.)
|Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), |
and Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) backstage at 1984's Macintosh launch.
|Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) tries to get straight with Jobs at 1988's NeXT launch.|
|Jobs (Fassbender) in his trademark wardrobe at 1998's iMac launch.|