The Fabelmans

The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022) Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano; Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence, but soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.

The crucial question is: if we didn't know that this film, directed by Steven Spielberg, was about the life of Steven Spielberg, would it be of much interest? I think the answer is no.

Benjamin Lee:
... Spielberg’s attempt [at an autobiographical film] is actually relatively restrained and rooted in reality, avoiding the obvious cloy that could so easily come with the territory. The script, from Spielberg and Tony Kushner, speeds past the easy potholes and takes us somewhere less expected, focusing on smaller, not-as-easily explained emotions rather than the swell of the big. There remains a remove though still, Spielberg giving us a slightly too stage-managed version of himself and his family, some gristle missing from the darkest moments. The Guardian.

Peter Bradshaw:
Steven Spielberg’s utterly beguiling fictionalised movie-memoir is his new adventure in Panglossian optimism, and offers us a stunning critical insight into his own work and how and why artists cauterise childhood pain and rewrite their youth. Movies are not exactly a matter of “escapism” – a lazy and misleading word – but all about intervening in real life, reordering the landscape, addressing frailty and vulnerability candidly, but from a position of strength. The Guardian.

Garry Gillard | New: 15 December, 2022 | Now: 31 January, 2023