The Fabelmans — Movie Review

by KJ Proulx

Promotional Artwork for ‘The Fabelmans’ [Credit: Universal Pictures]

Whether you’re a big fan of cinema or not, it probably goes without saying that at least one of the films you’ve loved watching is one of Steven Spielbergs. Most of his films have been home runs and have become classics, so hearing that he was going to be making a film about his own life intrigued me. Growing up myself as an aspiring filmmaker, I went into this film hoping to be amazed. While I can’t say that that I think The Fabelmans is an amazing film by any means, it’s still great. The funny thing is that I don’t really have much to complain about here, the film is just very simplistic and I think I was hoping for more.

Sammy Fabelman (which is a pseudonym for Steven Spielberg) is a young boy who was blown away after being taken to the movies for the first time. After his first experience at the movies, he wishes to recreate what he had seen. This eventually led him to have his own camera and work hard at creating short films. Once his family moves away though, times get rough for him in school and family issues ensue. This film was a very nice watch and there are some terrific moments sprinkled throughout, but I never felt like I was watching a film about Spielberg. The awe and wonder about filmmaking is absolutely present and I connected to this film personally, but it never goes in any interesting directions, which is really my only complaint.

I thought that both Gabriel LaBelle who portrays Sammy Fabelman throughout the majority of the run time and Mateo Zoryan who plays him at the start of the film gave terrific performances. Their commitment to the real-life figure they were playing really helped sell the film to me. Paul Dano as the father was fantastic as well and even though Michelle Williams delivered a great performance as always, there was something off about the character to me. I also think that was the point of her character, so I could be overthinking that. The performances overall are great across the board.

The reason I was excited about this film was to see how Speilberg was influenced and why he chose to be a filmmaker in the first place. Other than being amazed at a young age, this film is really more about his family life and how that shaped who is is today. The score is wonderful and the imagery put a smile on my face on multiple occasions. I can’t quite gush about this film because it’s a Spielberg movie and obviously it’s well-made from start to finish, I just hoped for a little more from this story. Still, all in all, I enjoyed every minute of it and that final scene had me laughing pretty damn hard. The Fabelmans was a very, very pleasant watch.

Rating: 4/5

Check out the trailer below:

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Film Lover First. Critic Second.

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