Michael Fassbender has not yet won an Oscar. And it isn’t for lack of trying. The lad bared his soul (and backside) as a sex addict in Shame. Starved himself half to death in Hunger. Wore a giant papier-mâché mask for the entire duration of Frank. But so far, nowt. Not a sausage. Only a Best Supporting Actor nomination for 12 Years A Slave. Clearly he is rattled, for 2016 sees him take on two more BIG, IMPORTANT, GIVE ME A BLOODY AWARD SHARPISH, YOU TIGHT-FISTED GITS roles, first as Macbeth and now as iconic Apple founder, Steve Jobs.
As if you didn’t know, geeky mates Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniaks (Seth Rogan) created Apple in their garage (kids, this was before tech start ups involved Shoreditch and cold pressed coffee). We first meet Steve when Apple is already successful and clearly leaving him with time on his hands – for he’s also been busy sleeping around and fathering unwanted children whom he now cruelly refuses to acknowledge.
This is the central issue that the film explores – essentially, just how much of a sociopath was Jobs? Structured around three significant product launches at different stages of his career, they form three ‘acts’, checking in with his relationships to the main players in his life: his child; Wozniaks; and his ‘work wife’, Apple’s Head of Marketing Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet with impressively eccentric accent).
Steve Jobs is breathtaking in its refusal to sugar coat the man. Fassbender, natch, is amazing, bulldozing his way through every scene. A genius Jobs might have been, but the film makes clear that this was at significant cost. Which is an interesting and brave decision as spending two hours in the company of a borderline sociopath is not exactly a barrel of laughs. But as the film ended and the credits rolled, the audience turned on their smartphones and the cinema was filled with glowing white Apple logos. Like him or not, his genius affects us all.
UK release 13 November