Reely Bernie Faves: Steve Jobs (2015)

I’m a sucker for historical fiction as it toys with timelines and actual events but holds true the atmosphere of the period, character impressions, and the filmmaker’s freedom to interpret. As the late, great Roger Ebert would say, “I look to books for facts and movies for feelings.”

Despite fabricating a few incidents and compartmentalizing Steve Jobs’s technological feats, Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin preserves the tone of Steve Jobs’s unparalleled and fascinating ego. Using three backstage room settings for his new computer launches, Sorkin provides a platform to expose Jobs’s humanity, no matter how difficult it is to accept or appreciate.

What I admire most about this movie is its ability to magnify minimalism. Until its cathartic denouement outdoors, most of the scenes are shot in sterile, claustrophobic sound stages. Without looking anything like Steve Jobs, Michael Fassbender catapults Sorkin’s dialogue into high strung flesh, and we come to believe we are witnessing the evolving genius of Steve Jobs. It is absolutely fascinating, and after six viewings, I still discover nuances in both the acting performances and screenplay. (My only qualm is Kate Winslet’s ever changing Polish accent.)  

Steve Jobs and a gripping interpretation by Michael Fassbender

Most will place Sorkin’s writing masterwork, The Social Network (2010), above this one, but I’d rather watch an arrogant, self-entitled marketing genius than a bunch of arrogant, self-entitled brats who have billions come to them because of a social media idea. Both are tremendous movies (the soundtrack to The Social Network is the most provocative of the last two decades), but what Sorkin, Director Danny Boyle, and Michael Fassbender can accomplish in three backstage rooms in Steve Jobs (2015) still blows my mind.

Thank you for reading! Your thoughts?

Reely Bernie Faves:

48. TBA

49. Steve Jobs (2015)

50. ¡Three Amigos! (1986)

31 thoughts on “Reely Bernie Faves: Steve Jobs (2015)

Add yours

  1. Okay. It’s very possible you could in fact sell me on any movie. 🙂 You’re a very heartfelt writer.

    I generally don’t care for biopics or historical fiction simply because they do toy with true stories, but you and Roger Ebert provide a different (and much more positive) way of looking at it that I’d never considered. 🙂

    Also, I forgot I actually like The Social Network. 😀 True to life or not, if Sorkin’s involved, you know the dialogue’s going to be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I love movies, and I love writing about them. I’m glad you share the same passion 🙂 Yes, Sorkin seems to appeal to most audiences – tv, movies, and stage!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Things are good, but the 7-month-old is a handful. I’m hoping the summer will be a good restart on my healthier nutrition and workouts. School is done next week! Good luck on the job search. What is awesome is that what you can control (your well-being), you’re doing!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was going to ask about the newborn. Babies are precious work! Summer is a great time to get outdoors. I wish you the best! Hooray for summer break on the horizon!

            Thank you, my friend!!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. As Ebert said, “It’s not what it’s about; it’s how it’s about it.” There’s a sensational intention behind portraying the ego of Jobs in Fassbender’s work. Kutcher does a typical biopic cookie cutter. I hope you give this one a shot!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed on B.E. – the premise was cool enough to take the focus off Kutcher. Fassbender is rolling thunder in his portrayal of Steve Jobs, and that spirit is what was intended. No matter how true or off it is compared to the real Jobs, I’d like to think this is the behavior of the genius that is Jobs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never seen this before…or the Ashton Kutcher version either…I need to watch this one…I saw your comment to Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL…the best thing I like about him is his wife. I also like The Butterfly Effect and That Seventies Show I have to admit.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw this once on cable, but I wasn’t focused. I would like to watch it being invested. The other jobs movie I liked a lot was ‘Jobs’ (2013). I never thought I would enjoy a movie appearing Ashton Kutcher, but I thought it was a solid performance. I know how much you love him by your comment above lol Why do you consider him vile? He’s Bruce Willis’ son! Hehe
    The film lacked a sequel after Job’s second stint at Apple.
    Of course, I liked the Social Network, but I always watch it with a cringe. The characters aren’t exactly likeable, and I loathe Zuckerberg, unlike Musk who I find transparent and inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On and off the screen, I think Ashton is a self-indulgent creep who likes to pat himself on the back for smiling. His Steve Jobs version was surface level, biopic banality. Sorkin/Boyle/Fassbender set our imaginations on fire when it came to the Steve Jobs myth. There’s something to feel there.

      Agreed on The Social Network. I only watch it for the score now…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. California Dreaming ‘on a Ashton Winter’s day’!
        So apart from all that, you like him? Hehe..
        I thought he did a good job although I’m not an expert of Steve Job’s biography. For me, Steve Wozniak is the true genius regarding the foundation of the PC.

        I have to see again the version you reviewed. I remember seeing Winslett in it and I was a bit..let down by her. The movie seemed a bit ‘high·falutin’ to me. Anyways since you praised it, worth another go.
        Cheers Bernie.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha! You’ve destroyed that song for me now. Just kidding.

          I’m a fan of machine gun/David Mamet style, and I think Sorkin is king. Just that first scene when the computer is supposed to say “hello” but doesn’t work – it never happened, but Sorkin’s creative idea portrays Jobs’s genius in a realistic, funny way.

          Cheers right back 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Destroyed haha That song in the biopic Dragon ‘The Bruce Lee Story’ is the ants pants, because it shows how delicate is the whole notion surrounding ‘a dream state’ and opportunity.
            For me Sorkin hits and misses. A bit like a machine gun. I think his best scripts are Few Good Men, The Social Network & Moneyball. He was a writer on the West Wing, which I haven’t seen, but supposedly it’s great.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Steer clear of the Ashton Kutcher one for one reason – Ashton Kutcher. He is vile in it, and it’s a big distraction. I hope you like the Sorkin/Boyle/Fassbender version. The dialogue is like a machinegun.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree I also think this is a much under-rated play. It’s essentially a top theatrical piece bought to the screen with cinematic flair – you can see the roots Boyle and Sorkin both have in theatre. I rate this one really highly. The acting is sensational, Sorkin’s dialogue hugely catchy and Boyle’s direction top-notch! Great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m surprised by how many people didn’t like it. Letterboxd (a millennials feeding frenzy) only has it at 3.6 out of 5, but I think it gets better and better with each viewing. Great point about the play to theatre background coming alive on film!


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