Attempting a character portrait of one of the most influential public figures of this generation was always going to be a tricky task. The conventional biopic is one of the most tried and tested formulas in the Hollywood box of tricks, and most other examples too often tip over into hagiography or melodramatic cliche. Danny Boyle’s latest film doesn’t entirely escape all of these pitfalls, but by working with several supremely talented collaborators at the top of their game (much like Jobs himself always made sure to do), he manages to succeed more than he fails here.

The main advantage the film has is its unusual structure, skilfully weaved into a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, focusing on three product launches at different periods in its protagonist’s life. This theatrical approach keeps things intensely focused, anchored by a brilliantly layered lead performance from Michael Fassbender, who conveys all the necessary character complexity as well as some bold physical choices. He’s helped by some superb foil work from Kate Winslet, who plays a less well-known figure but matches his drive scene for scene. Such fine work from those involved helps to distract from the somewhat overly complimentary and stylised depiction of its lead.

A decent character study of an iconic Apple head honcho...8
...that appears to have been made by sycophantic Apple fanboys4
Aaron Sorkin's inventively-structured screenplay8
Michael Fassbender's driven and intense lead performance8
Kate Winslet doing just as much with half as much to work with9
Bechdel Test Passes
  • Features more than one named female character
  • The named female characters talk to each other
  • They talk about something other than men
Bechdel Test Failures
  • n/a
7Overall Score

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