Goodness me, but this is a 'talkie' film!
I wasn't at all keen to see it because of the subject matter, computers - which, if it doesn't go above my head (and much does), I find that what I can understand is deadly dull. Part of that will be my resentment in having to be dragged into this particular technological world at an advanced age which, although it has opened up my life in positive ways, at the same time gives me more frequent headaches than I care to have.
I was persuaded to go see by it having the ever-charismatic Michael Fassbender in the title role, as well as it being directed by Danny Boyle, who has the ability to lift virtually any subject into being interesting enough to hold my attention. And this he largely achieves here, though, as I suggest, virtually all the action is verbal, and, in terms of comprehension, it didn't take very long to lose me.
It's in three 40-minute segments, 1984, 88, and 98, each dealing with the late CEO of Apple (who died four years ago at the age of 56) making a big-splash public launch of the latest developments in personal computers. (Please don't expect me to elaborate!).
All three parts take place in the minutes before a major unveiling while the large, eager audiences are assembling, hungry to hear the latest advancement.
Kate Winslet plays his hard-boiled, fiercely loyal assistant (and one-time relationship?) who isn't afraid to stand up to him and tell him what she thinks.
There's also Jeff Daniels as his former boss with whom he had serious disagreements, as well as a previous affair which resulted in a daughter, though Jobs has doubts that she's his. The impecunious mother (Katherine Waterston) resents being stranded by Jobs and having to rely on welfare for herself and her girl, while he is now a multi-millionaire, later a billionaire. We see the daughter, first at the age of five, then nine, and lastly at nineteen, by which time she has become somewhat alienated from her father, influenced by her mother's grievances.
You might correctly imagine that arguments abound on all sides, which they always do just as he's due on stage (much to the exasperation of the Winslet character, who's trying to keep Jobs on schedule), and that's the three foci of the film, not exactly 'shouty' but always very disputatious.
Screenplay is by Aaron Sorkin whose biggest success to date was another computer-based film, 'The Social Network', one which I'd found the dialogue so indecipherably mumbled that I just couldn't work out what the hell was going on. No such problem here, and I must admit that the script is pretty sharp.
When this film opened in America recently, initial box-office takings were so depressed that the venues screening it were drastically scaled back. I don't think it's entirely the film's fault in itself, but it's not a film for everybody. Those who go looking for more action than mere words will feel let down. Danny Boyle does his best and manages to make it absorbing enough, though it's not one which I'd care to sit through for a second time................................6.
1 minute ago