ByMichael Blanchard, writer at
Southern filmmaker, without the funny accent.
Michael Blanchard


The story dramatizes three significant product launches from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: Macintosh, NeXT, and iMac.


Compelling characters all around because each of them have their own purpose and stance. And almost all of them have a shining arc over the course of fifteen years.


Every player has their moment in the spotlight. The performances are remarkable, seamless, and (obviously) Oscar worthy.


The direction is elegantly simple. Not much to say except that Boyle understood exactly how to “let things happen” and just so happen to keep the camera rolling for every important moment, then go in afterwords to spruce it up with some perfectly timed cuts.


Unconventional cinematography. Each launch has its own look due to time moving forward; shooting in film for 1984, shooting in updated film 1988, and finally digital in 1998.


Staggering and involved emotions ooze out of the Sorkin penned script. There are some beautiful moments/epiphanies/understandings (whatever you want to call them) from each character that translates perfectly with the audience thanks to early setup leading to payoffs that will floor you.


The structure is, again, unconventional and simple. Each launch is told in “real-time” with sprinkles of flashbacks that advance and enrich the story.


A constant and consistent pacing where things are always happening. There’s all but two moments of silence or tranquility, but all together easy to follow and competent.


To pull the curtain off of Steve Jobs himself as a character, not his products. Neither to recount significant events. To show the monster hidden under the genius, but not hateful by any means. Just plain honest.


The unconventional structure is not perfect, because it’s unconventional. Not to say it’s bad, just not perfect. Which at the end of the day, is the point. Not experimental, but damn near close. It tries things and lets the audience witness it as if it’s happening on a stage. Not like Birdman where it’s all one glued together shot to create the sense of urgency. It has its own taste. Very similar to something we’ve seen before, but intentionally broken and more flavorful. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but instead takes that wheel, writes some brilliant dialogue all over it, makes it perform on all cylinders, and turns it into one of the best wheels of the year.


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