- Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Judd Hirsch
- Written by
- Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner
- Directed by
- Steven Spielberg
- Run Time
- 2h 31min
- Release Date
- November 23rd, 2022
There is something to be said about the things you consider your comfort zones. It can be anything from an article of clothing or a food that just takes you back and wraps you in its warmth and makes you feel “safe” for a lack of a better word. Although I have a few of those things that take me there, when it comes to movies my comfort zone is a Steven Spielberg movie, as it is just my cinema happy place.
Set in post war America we find the Fablemans, a family that doesn’t seem any different than most. You have Burt (Paul Dano), the dad who when he isn’t working at building one of the first computers, he is fixing friends electronics. Then there is Mitzi (Michelle Williams), who is an artist at heart and acts more like her kid’s friend than an authority figure. Together Mitzi and Burt have four kids, three girls and one son, Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle), who takes after his mom as he discovers the magic of making movies. His movies start small, like the crashing of his model train set that he makes into a movie, but soon they turn into more elaborate stories. Sammy has found his passion, but as Burt’s career takes him to new places and a discovery about his mom along with treatment at his new school start to dim that passion. Your true love though never goes away and Sammy finds that passion once again and starts to find his way to make his own movie magic.
Written by Spielberg and Tony Kushner, The Fabelmans feels like one of Spielberg’s most personal films ever as well as a love letter to everyone who loves movies. It is also a coming-of-age story that explores, from a place of love, how a personal event can set the course for your personal and professional development in life. Spielberg seems to pour everything into this film, turning it into his way of understanding his past as well as a sort of guide to filmmaking. Spielberg is a master at his craft and with The Fablemans we get to see the master at work, as he tells the story with the camera as much as he does with words. With the language of cinema he manages to speak to the audience in the most sincere and clearest possible way, as we are taken on a dazzling ride.
You wouldn’t be wrong in noticing the similarities to this story and that of Spielberg’s own life, as even LaBelle, who plays Spielberg’s alter ego, has a strong resemblance to him. LeBelle doesn’t just get by on his looks alone, instead he and the rest of the cast, who flow like a cohesive unit are impeccable in their performances. Williams and Dano will receive much of the praise, but keep an eye out for Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsch, who provide a burst of lighting when they are on screen. All of this is set to a great John Williams score, which just adds to the feeling that you are watching a collection of Spielberg’s greatest hits, all delivered at their peak. Everything together adds to a vulnerable trip down memory lane and will hit hardest with struggling artists and anyone who has strived to make a love one feel proud. This might not make my top 5 Spielberg movies of all time, but it’s the Spielberg movie we needed right now, because if you love cinema or just a great movie, then The Fablemans is for you.