Like the computers he sold so brilliantly, Steve Jobs was complicated, charismatic and coldly inhuman. The movie of the same name, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple CEO, is no different. In adapting Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Silicon Valley pioneer, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin reimagines him as a modern-day Prospero, capable of creating tempestuous magic but deaf to the dissent and chaos his decrees engender. As Jobs prepares to unveil some of his most influential products to the world, he receives backstage counsel from his earliest allies Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) and Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), as well as the man who fired him from the company he created, John Sculley (Jeff Daniels). Meanwhile he is dunned by an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) who wants Jobs to recognize their daughter Lisa (played by three actors at different ages). What’s most difficult about Sorkin’s intricate fantasy is not acknowledging Jobs’ darkness, but setting aside all hope of seeing the real man who inspired it.
This appears in the October 19, 2015 issue of TIME.