Steve Jobs, the latest attempt to penetrate the soul of the man behind Apple has staggering pedigree and the awards-baiting result is not unlike the subject itself.

If the personality central to the movie is crucial, so are the personalities behind it – a veritable dream team - written by the man behind the West Wing, Aaron Sorkin, directed by Slumdog Millionaire’s Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender.

Steve Jobs is one of the most enigmatic, unfathomable and charismatic men of our times. His impact on our modern life is nothing short of extraordinary, so it came as no surprise that his death in 2011 sparked a rash of articles and books.

It even a produced a rushed and poor film about the man.

Somehow though, the curiosity for his blend of mystery and bluntness has managed to endure. He is still hard to pin down.

This film is set almost entirely behind the scenes, appropriately.

We begin at the launch of the Apple Mackintosh in 1984, and find Jobs orchestrating the occasion with a mix of freneticism and mastery, while his troubled personal and professional life is consistently tossed at him at every turn.

This maelstrom sets the tone for the whole movie.

Two more launches fill the running time for the film, one of Jobs' NeXT computer in 1988 and one of the iMac in 1998, which hauled Apple back from the brink of destruction.

Again, all the drama happens backstage. Relations with his daughter are strained, we’re shown a complex friendship that never evolved into love, and a brotherly love/hate friendship is mused over between Jobs and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak. 

Distilling Jobs’ life into three acts, serves as a potent method of storytelling. It simultaneously showcases the icon, fuels Boyle’s kinetic directorial style, and cultivates Sorkin’s witty, drama-drenched writing.

These chapters are ripe for drama and comedy, and the makers know it.

But there’s a downside. Putting the camera right in the middle of three hurricane-force happenings has the effect of emphasising the rollercoasters, not the theme park.

It benefits the styles of Boyle and Sorkin, and occasionally, slightly pulls one away from the story itself.

Fortunately the hugely experienced cast inject the gleaming body with a purring engine.

They clearly work well under Boyle, and manage to imbue Sorkin’s words with depth. This is a neat trick, as in the wrong hands, a script like this could so easily become a one-liner fest.

The meaty quips that Jobs dishes out are fired back in kind, and it feels real.

Softer moments show us that the actors have taken time to understand the machinations behind the force of nature that was Steve Jobs, allowing space for love and patience to grab hold.

What’s more, Fassbender himself shows us a man struggling to process the very human problems he is facing. His perfectionism and intelligence arm him in every argument, but we see that he knows when he is wrong.

His struggle to reconcile his work with his life is laid bare. The latter is almost too much, because it is beyond his control. “I was poorly built” says he.

It’s the perfect, soulful self-reflection for the ultimate perfectionist. The film is actually not unlike the man himself. It’s highly stylised and intimidatingly impressive, but rest assured that somewhere inside, there’s a beating heart.

Steve Jobs (15) is out Friday, November 13

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