Movie Review: The Fabelmans

Movie Review: The Fabelmans

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Have you ever wondered how Steven Spielberg got to be … well Steven Spielberg? The Fabelmans movie hints at just that and even more as a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story and a love letter to the escapist magic of movies.

The Fabelmans

The story is told through the eyes of 16-year-old Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle). His father Burt (Paul Dano) is a scientist whose specialist knowledge sees the family move around several times during Sammy’s formative high school years.

When Sammy’s parents take him to see The Greatest Show On Earth movie, one scene sets him on a path of trying to use film to work through overwhelming feelings.

With camera in hand he finds a new world to disappear into. His passion starts innocently enough making family movies. However his focus soon expands into storytelling.

His creative mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams) is thrilled with his artist talent and encourages him to “do what your heart says you have to do so you don’t owe anyone your life.” Meanwhile his pragmatic scientist father is far less enthusiastic.

One day while filming an innocent family outing Sammy discovers a shattering family secret. The world as he knows it is turned upside down. Once again he turns to film to help him.

Prior to the movie we were lucky enough to hear a personal message from Spielberg who described the movie as “a love letter to my family and the art of cinema.” He went on to say how delighted he was that we were watching it in theatre describing “the importance of watching in a communal cinema.”

At two and a half hours, The Fablemans is a movie that demands you slow down and move at its pace.

The movie is a reminder of simpler times, of family movies and camping trips. Gabriel LaBelle makes an excellent passionate, yet often bewildered Sammy. Michelle Williams steals the focus as a mother living to her own beat. Seth Rogen also puts in a good understated performance as Uncle Bennie. Fans of his other movies will find him almost unrecognisable.

The movie touches on issues of grief, mental health, love, betrayal and growing up. The added bonus is the trip down fashion lane. Lovers of film will delight in the details. The movie is receiving a lot of good buzz.

Rating 5.5/10

For more information go to Luna Cinemas.