My favorite line of dialogue from this film comes when Steve Jobs' daughter (Lisa) nods towards an Apple computer prototype and snaps, "And that THING...looks just like Judy Jetson's Easy-Bake Oven!" That's just one line in a script full of good lines. In fact, it's full of lines in general, lots and lots of them, as there is much more talking than American audiences are typically used to. It almost feels like a filmed stage production.
What could have probably been a Pulitzer Prize winning three-act play on Broadway ends up being just a pretty good movie, albeit with bunch of wonderful performances. Like a stage play, there's a lot more "telling" rather than "showing" against a backdrop of three, extremely theatrical, vignettes depicting the backstage drama at three separate product launches in the life of Steve Jobs. Speaking of the life of Steve Jobs, this movie doesn't really cover a whole lot of it, but the moments it does it covers closely -- intimately. This will probably frustrate quite a few people who'll be expecting a more all-encompassing look at Jobs' life -- it's not and doesn't even attempt to be.
The anchoring storyline that ties the narrative is Jobs' odd relationship and ultimate acceptance of his daughter -- not the most interesting angle for me, but it serves to humanize someone who by all accounts could be a real dick. It's been my experience to read, see, and hear much about Steve Job's life and work, and I think this film excludes one of the leading characters in his story: mortality. Of all of Jobs' combative relationships, none is more fascinating (to me) than the one he had with his own health and mortality, and it's not even touched on here.
Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet both deliver amazing (if a bit stagey) performances that would guarantee Oscar nominations in a movie more successful than this one's going to be. The audience I sat with was cool to the experience -- maybe because, like Jobs, himself, this film is more cerebral than emotional.
Unless you bring a lot of previous knowledge and context with you, this film will probably be unsatisfying.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews under 500 words sans spoilers.)