Given that he had Steve Jobs’ whole life to choose from, Aaron Sorkin’s selection is surprising.
Hollywood films require that the hero be in jeopardy, and that there be a romance. The jeopardy in this case could not be more trivial: the tension derives from the concern that he might not get to the next product launch in time. And the romance is the relationship between Jobs and his daughter!
Three launches ( = three acts, by the way) gives three periods of increasing tension (during which the hero would clearly have failed to make the deadline – but time in art can of course expand or contract). The two plot strands (drama and romance) come together, as they should, in the closing moments, when we see Jobs ignoring the tyranny of the timeline in favour of implausibly walking back off the stage towards his daughter, for no other conceivable reason than to achieve this synthesis – that is, for a filmic reason not required by the plot.
For me personally, as an Apple-addict, the story is mortally frustrating. I wanted to see the actual launches of the Macintosh, the NeXT, and the iMac. Fail.
Final note: don’t see this film for the acting.
Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle, 2015)
reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 27 February, 2017 | Now: 8 March, 2017