What’s it about?
A loosely autobiographical coming-of-age story from Steven Spielberg, following the early life and young adulthood of Sammy Fabelman as his love of film allows him to explore and contextualise the people around him.
What’d we think?
If you know nothing about the early life of Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans functions as a beautifully sensitive coming-of-age film, being heart-warming in the most genuine sense of the word. The titular family is close-knit and caring, with the central relationship between the parents (Paul Dano and Michelle Williams, both at the top of their game) being believably complex individuals without needing to lean on any easy shortcuts in characterisation. The dramatic elements of the film carry significant weight without veering into melodrama, as the intensely personal nature of the film’s central conflict feels incredibly believable.
Taken as a Spielberg auto-biopic (if that’s a thing), The Fablemans shines even brighter. James Cameron loves the ocean, Christopher Nolan is obsessed with time, but Spielberg is passionate about movies, and I’ve never seen a better portrayal of the magical and transformative effect they can have on a person than this.
As someone with a lifelong love of movies, it was very easy to love The Fabelmans.