The Fabelmans Is A Celebration Of Life And The Love Of Movies

Whether it’s the T-Rex chase in “Jurassic Park,” Storming Omaha Beach in “Saving Private Ryan” or seeing a bicycle silhouette fly across the moon in “E.T.” We often remember the great spectacle of Steven Spielberg’s films as he created some of the most unforgettable and iconic movies of all time. However, by his admission, he always tells stories that are personal to him. So it is only fitting that his newest film, “The Fabelmans” would be loosely based on his childhood. Telling the story of a young boy named Sam who fell in love with film and, through his art, finds shelter, courage, and salvation from his family and the world around him.

Sam’s parents, played by Paul Dano and Michelle Williams each deliver excellent performances in their own way. As a father, Dano’s performance gives a constant subtle observation of a brilliant engineer, always trying to understand how everything works. He is able to provide everything for his family and while he supports Sam’s hobby, he eventually expects Sam to put it away and put hard work into other pursuits. At first, he seems rigid and inflexible, but as the film progresses we understand the constant sacrifice he makes for his family, especially his wife. As Mother, Williams delivers a chaotic performance of a musical Artist, afraid to pursue her own dreams and unhappy in her comfortable, unfulfilling suburban life. She encourages Sam to continue to chase his film dream. As a catalyst for many of the movie’s emotional beats, Williams is at first likable but eventually becomes somewhat unlikable as we see how messy and selfish she can be with her family. Through it all, Sam (Gabriel LaBelle) manages the trials and tribulations of his parents, family, and high school as he continues to grow to understand the world around him through his art of filmmaking.

“The Fabelmans” feels like a behind-the-curtain look into Spielberg’s personal coming-of-age story and how the influence of those closest to him has had on his love of film and desire to make movies. However, at its core, it is a relatable story to all of us, about how family and youthful experience shape our world and desires in it as we grow and become who we are going to be.


4.5 stars out of 5.