Steve Jobs really isn't a biopic. It was a look at how Apple/NeXT computers were introduced to the public, how Steve Jobs made those launches happen, and his relationships with several pivotal people in his life (Joanna the marketing czar; Woz his early partner & hardware guru; John his mentor/Apple CEO; Andy, longtime Apple developer; Chris an old lover & mother of his eldest daughter; and Lisa, his daughter).
The movie opens with the SF writer/futurist/inventor & 2001 author Arthur C. Clarke talking in the early '70s about how he envisioned the future of computers. Just about everything Clarke described happened in the computer industry by the late '90s. It was a great introduction to life pre- Internet/pre-personal computer - some people felt the technology would come (before flying cars even). And people like Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates and Paul Allen helped to turn futurists' dreams into realities that conflicted and competed for decades.
The movie covers 3 different computer launches - Mac (1984), NeXT (1988) & iMac (1998), the chaos around them and how to make it look like the computer was working as expected even if it wasn't. Characters weave in and out of Steve's sphere as Joanna tries desperately to keep him focused on the task at hand. A few flashbacks back to the early development days in the garage show how far Jobs came. In many ways he was more of a marketer than his marketing department was.
This movie is great for people interested in computers. It may not be all that revelatory about Jobs himself, though the scenes between Steve Jobs and John Sculley were particularly good. The scenes with his ex-lover and daughter were a little too soap-operish and seemed almost out-of-place even though they were important to the story. Michael Fassbinder as Jobs and Kate WIinslet as Joanna were particularly good, but the entire cast was terrific.
I expect to see the movie Steve Jobs adapted as a play any time now, the script is so strong.
1993: Reviewed the book Steve Jobs: The NeXT Big Thing