3 out of 4 stars
Steve Jobs is an imperfect creation, like the late Apple icon. Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender resembles Jobs only in brains and energy.
Yet the film entertains and enlightens, and also shows how great ideas are born not through compromise but through vision and determination.
Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin narrowly define their narrative while also freestyling dialogue and history in three key product launches: Macintosh in 1984, NeXTcube in 1988 and iMac in 1998. Kate Winslet, also Oscar-nommed, is a prod to conscience in the role of Macintosh marketing chief Joanna Hoffman.
Also worthy of applause: Seth Rogen as neglected Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Jeff Daniels as father figure turned adversary John Sculley. Extras include a making-of featurette and commentaries by Danny Boyle, Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham.
3 out of 4 stars
Bryan Cranston insists we pay attention to his title Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo or risk the man’s imperious sneer and hilarious riposte.
The scenarist behind such classics as Spartacus, Exodus, Roman Holiday and Gun Crazy, Trumbo was once the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood and also the world, enjoying a lifestyle of affluence, privilege and acclaim that would eventually also include two Oscars.
Yet he was also a principled member of the Communist Party, a big problem in the paranoid America and cowardly Hollywood immediately past the Second World War, where Trumbo situates itself.
Trumbo opted to fight back, much to the sneers of gossipmongers (Helen Mirren) and to the concern of his loyal wife (Diane Lane) and three children (Elle Fanning plays Niki, the eldest). He found himself blacklisted by Hollywood studios fearful of associating with him.
Cranston is furiously watchable in his Oscar-nominated role.
Extras include two making-of featurettes.