Oscar season is officially upon us, and already, in the first half of September, Michael Fassbender has placed himself in conversation for a Best Actor nomination with a career performance in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic.
Immersing himself in the role of the title character, Fassbender undergoes a tremendous transformation, portraying Jobs over the span of multiple decades, yet keeps the character grounded and believable. Even in a film that features fantastic performances from the likes of Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen, Michael Fassbender stands out as the true gravitational center of film.
The film is surprisingly quite small in scope, even though it spans multiple decades. Steve Jobs revolves around three key note presentations and the drama surrounding, including: failed projects, issues at home, the firing and re-hiring of Steve Jobs, as well as the ups and downs of relationship with old friend and co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak. But with all the chaos that ensues, the heart of the story consistently remains that of a troubled genius and the relationship with his estranged daughter.
Academy Award winning writer, Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The Social Network), hands in one of the best scripts of his career. In a film that comes in just over a two hours and somewhat feels like the Groundhog Day of the tech sector, boredom is not an reaction that I imagine many viewers will encounter while watching. Although the dialogue for the Steve Jobs character is brilliantly written, witty one-liners from other portrayals sometimes feel more like epic mic drops, rather than actual conversation, but still engaging none-the-less.
The Danny Boyle directed effort does not quite have the gritty feel of David Fincher's The Social Network, but still finds its niche as an accessible and grounded, tech-centered biopic. And much like the aforementioned Fincher film, Steve Jobs provides a memorable score that evolves along with its story counterpart. Also transforming along with the narration as well as the title character, is the noteworthy cinematography. Both aspects really work well together and compliment the development and character arc of the Fassbender acted Steve Jobs. The synergy of solid directing, inspiring cinematography, progressive score, and impressive makeup/wardrobe help make the standout performance from Michael Fassbender deliver with even more impact - despite taking place over multiple decades.
It is still early in this Oscar season, but it would be surprising not to see an Academy Award, best actor nomination for Micheal Fassbender. That being said, I am not so sure that the film receives best picture consideration when it is all said and done. Steve Jobs' storytelling mechanics are unique but this film, at times, feels more like a character study of a disturbed genius rather than an actual narrative. All elements considered, the entertainment value is insanely high in this dialogue driven, contained plot - making Steve Jobs absolutely worth the price of admission.