What’s happening, everybody? Welcome to My Movie Review. My name is Aakib, and today I’m reviewing THE FABELMANS Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by him and Tony Kushner. It’s the story of his life from his youth discovering movies and the love of filmmaking until getting that first big opportunity.
Spoiler alert: I guess Steven Spielberg became a director. Steven Spielberg’s avatar in the film is Sammy The Fabelman a young boy who aspires to become a filmmaker.
As he reaches adolescence he soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of film can help him see the truth. Look if you guys know me at all you know this film was Made For Me.
Spielberg is not only one of my favourite filmmakers but it’s a story about a kid who wants to make movies even though it’s really difficult. A lot of people around him aren’t letting that happen.
I saw a lot of parallels in my own life and how difficult it was to convince other people that what I wanted to do wasn’t just a hobby.
Running out into the woods and dressing up as creatures and playing and fighting with each other on camera wasn’t just something that was going to eventually go away. It wasn’t a phase. This was here to stay.
Every parent has a moment I think when their child starts involving themselves in something like that. At first, it seems like oh I’m so glad that they found something they love and it’s keeping them busy and they’re enjoying it and making them happy.
Then there comes a point where they get a bit older. They’re older teens and they’re like scarily talented at it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who watches this movie and sees a reflection of themselves in young Sami Fabelman.
This is if you have any interest in art and filmmaking in general. If you watch the film and understand it, it will click with you. Judd Hirsch’s character is at the centre of some very difficult emotional discussions.
He’s mesmerizing in a few scenes and could even secure a Best Supporting Actor nomination despite limited screen time. However, he looks Sammy The Fabelman right in the eye and says I’m pretty sure this filmmaking thing is more relevant to you than your family.
Even though Sammy denies it you can see in his eyes that he’s conflicted about that denial. That’s really how deep the love of filmmaking can reach for someone who has dedicated their whole life to it because it’s not just a normal job.
You can’t come to school expecting to learn how to do something and then start that career right after school. Sure you can apply to film school but that doesn’t mean you’re able to get a job in the industry.
It definitely won’t be the job you want right off the bat. If you’re a writer that doesn’t want to work on set and just likes to write screenplays that creates another magnitude of problems. This is why you have to be better than everyone else.
Then you have to have your stuff seen by difficult people. I’m saying all that to say that when you decide you want to be a filmmaker like young Sami The Fabelman it becomes your entire focus.
The balance of your life is off now because filmmaking is consuming everything in your family and your relationships are suffering as a result. Anyone who’s ever tried to be a filmmaker can tell you that’s true. That’s why I love the Fabelmen.
I’ve seen it twice now. It’s very rare for me to see a film about filmmakers or filmmaking that gets it as this movie does. However, it’s also a very wise film and I credit Spielberg and Kushner’s screenplay for this.
Its characters often talk to Sammy and tell him that he is a selfish person. They also tell him that what he does is not help anyone else except himself, which is representative of how a filmmaker can disappear within their heads forever.
Until someone says, Hey man, you’re not here with us. Michelle Williams, who plays Sammy’s mother, is a real Oscar contender.
She’s so fantastic in the film. This year we’ve seen Paul Dano as a sadistic serial killer The Riddler and now as this loving but Stern father in this movie.
He’s so lovable and he’s so heartwarming, but you can also see where his mind is very methodical and he loves math and science.
He doesn’t understand the logic of what his son has decided he wants to do. That creates a lot of really engaging scenes.
Finally, Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy The Fabelman is wonderful and his role is difficult because this character is pretentious and up his ass.
In some ways, he’s supposed to be because that’s just what you’re like when you’re 16 years old and you’re trying to convince somebody who’s not getting paid to give an Oscar-worthy performance in a film that not a lot of people are interested in seeing and that doesn’t matter to you because you just have to create this thing. It has to happen once you’ve seen it in your head.
Now it has to get out somehow and LaBelle is so talented at communicating that explosion of emotions rattling around inside this character’s head.
I gotta say the first time I saw the movie I left thinking you know I enjoyed that but I didn’t love it.
Things just didn’t 100% connect with me emotionally through the First Act and I think characters did things that felt strange on the second viewing but knowing what was brewing in this family and the issues that they were dealing with ahead of time turned all of those character choices and emotions into something that made sense. I loved the film a lot.
On the second viewing, I was able to really sit back and just enjoy the film because whenever I get excited about one of my favourite filmmakers who’s gonna have an upcoming movie if it’s like another Scorsese film or Tarantino film or whatever the first viewing it’s always so difficult for me to just relax and enjoy it.
After the first viewing, I was eager to see what they did and the choices they made. However, on the second viewing, I was finally able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the film.
Knowing what was happening under the surface is very useful, and I think the film is very impressive.
The film also has two moments that sort of break the fourth wall that I found very funny. In addition, there is a final scene that is so funny that my entire theatre was roaring with laughter.
I think The Fabelman is a damn entertaining movie and one of Spielberg’s better films in the past 10 or so years.
Go check it out in the theatres. If you want to be a film filmmaker you’re going to understand this movie. It’s gonna make sense to you and it’s gonna feel like you’ve seen you know what I mean.