The Fabelmans (2022)

Title: The Fabelmans

Year: 2022

Genre: Drama |

Runtime:  151 min

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring:  Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Gabriel LaBelle

7.7/10

Loosely based on Spielberg’s childhood growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, from age seven to eighteen, a young man named Sammy Fabelman discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of movies helps us see the truth about each other and ourselves.

AN UNBALANCED COMING-OF-AGE STORY

WITH NO REAL CONCLUSION

As much as The Fabelmans is the semi-autobiographical feature about director Steven Spielberg’s young life as a filmmaker follows Sam, it also follows the life of his mother Mitzi, who knows about the big secret of the family.

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The story is really thrilling and exciting; it is filled with both drama and comedy and it comes under the skin of the character in a profound way. Few films that Spielberg has produced or directed had achieved this emotional effect. As much as it is a love letter, a memoir in the picture, it also illustrates a family life filled with conflicts and dreams. As much as this is a telling of the young days, it also shows the falling-apart course of the family.

It’s technically mesmerizing, as much of Spielberg’s films are, as it is in a personal portrait of an aspiring filmmaker. Michelle Williams makes a great performance. The lead, Gabriel LaBella, has a nice impact on the film as well. His anti-Semitic bullying at school is understandable, but the depth is just the surface, and feels almost forced because the bullying is not something new. 

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Judd Hirsch, who makes a short stop in the film, makes a fun impression. Paul Dano as Burt Fabelman, who is neglecting his family and disrespecting his wife, wishes… He doesn’t get deep into the role and feels much like a side character. A character that often the rest of the family yells at.  What’s astonishing is how relatable the story is with the character and the story.

The main problem is that feels like a fairy tale with the good essence of the third act, losing its momentum. It only shows a third part of Spielberg’s life. It only feels only the surface. It’s a slow-burn film that doesn’t behold any action or drama moment, but it stays afterward emotionally and story-wise.

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