The Fabelmans (2022)

The Fabelmans (2022)

Movie Details

The Fabelmans(2022)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano
Genres: Drama/Coming-of-age story
Release date: 11 November 2022
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
Language: English
Duration: 2h 31m


The Fabelmans (2022)


Steven Spielberg has reached the point in his career where he knows he can do whatever he wants. And so he does. He has Oscars, and hits too, the status of a legend is like a joke, so why wouldn’t he make a remake of a legendary musical for a lot of money, even if everyone might suspect that it won’t shine commercially? Because he can. His new film for The Fabelmans is receiving praise from all sides, it was a success at the Toronto festival and it is, at first glance, the ideal material to celebrate success at the Oscars. But if it will be a hit, it’s hard to guess. Again, however, this is a film that Spielberg made more for himself than for anyone else. Which, given the fact that it’s a partially autobiographical show, makes sense. But can ordinary viewers like it? Given the reactions, it’s clear that it can. And I’ll be happy to confirm it.

The Fabelmans begin at the beginning of the fifties when little Sammy is taken by his parents to the cinema for the first time and is captivated by the silver screen. He started playing with his dad’s camera, inventing big train accidents with the help of toys, gradually growing up and film became his absolute passion. He was able to pull down both the whole family and a bunch of friends for her, and he was shooting. And over time he discovered that with a camera in hand he could tell stories and change the world. For good and better. And to create stories that, unlike the real ones, can end happily, make heroes out of villains and laugh at villains. And maybe help him and his loved ones cope with everything ugly that life brings.

Although the main character (=small and young Spielberg) is a film lover and a large part of the film is taken up by scenes where he tries to copy Hollywood at home and makes amateur films with his friends, the Fabelmans are ultimately more of a family drama than a tribute to celluloid and storytelling. And it’s a very good drama. Spielberg does not deny himself in it, so the fifteen or so years that we spend with Sammy, his three sisters, his loving mother, his strict father, his slightly strange grandparents, and his friends, have a lot of nostalgia and melancholy in them. Even the heated moments seem as if Spielberg was remembering the time when he was bullied at school and things didn’t quite work out at home, but it was fine. In a way. They remind the Fabelmans of the series classic The Wonderful Years, which also managed to sell even the 100% serious and painful moments to the audience in a conciliatory way.

Spielberg is doing great here. Although Sammy and the audience quickly discover that things are not going as well with the Fabelmans as the parents try to pretend in front of their children and perhaps even in front of themselves, Spielberg’s new film will never become the classic dense drama. There is only a minimum of scenes where the heroes would lose their face and foam. Spielberg handles all family conflicts and drama somewhat more realistically. When Sammy uncovers a secret that could threaten everyone close to him, he doesn’t choose to confront his parents or play detective trying to figure out how it all really happened. Instead, they remain silent. With the Fabelmans, certain things are not talked about, just like in any other normal family, because no one knows how to talk about them, how to approach them, and whether it is even a good idea to bring them to light. The tension between the heroes gradually rises here, caused by a certain unspokenness and lack of clarification of family troubles. Almost everyone probably knows about them, but no one has any idea how to deal with them. And besides, everyone likes each other despite these secrets, insecurities, and fears.

This unspectacular work with drama and at the same time Spielberg’s ability to make Sammy not only the narrator but also the involuntary driver of the plot. He fights with himself all the time because he doesn’t know how to process certain things and at the same time he’s learning with the film, with which he has everything under complete control, which makes The Fabelmans such an interesting drama. I don’t want to say that uninteresting things happen in it, rather ordinary things happen in it. Ones that almost everyone has probably gone through and almost everyone has had to learn how to deal with. How not to disappoint your parents, how not to destroy your family by saying something you shouldn’t, how to confront your loved ones with the ugly truth and how to live the life of a normal teenager who has a little weird hobby and no one takes him seriously for a long time.

Spielberg’s reminiscence is not without tension and humor, but at its core it is a pleasantly ordinary story about ordinary people and ordinary problems. Moreover, wrapped in a typically Spielbergian atmosphere and its traditional properties (suburbs, family, friends, adventure). How much of it is or isn’t authentic and how much is based on his childhood and adolescence, only he will know. On the other hand, the universality of its themes makes it a spectacle that absolutely everyone can tune into. Regardless of whether he was collecting grades as a child, playing football, or preparing for a career as the biggest Hollywood filmmaker of the last five decades.

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