THE FABELMANS – Rated PG-13 – 2hrs 31 mins.

“Movies are dreams…that you’ll never forget…”

WRITER & DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg

WRITER:  Tony Kushner

STARRING:  Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Seth Rogan, Judd Hirsch, Kelley Karsten, Julia Butters, Oakes Fegley and Sam Rechner

Venture as you will into the semi-autobiographical life of a young Steven Spielberg…as we meet a very young Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) heading with his parents in tow, to experience his very first picture show…circa early 1950’s…

Now, as we follow this rather awkward family dynamic of genius father Burt (Paul Dano) and artistic and musically inclined mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), they are struggling to keep their marriage afloat, and it isn’t long before young Sammy is encouraged by his mother to pick up a camera, and to view his world from behind the lens…allowing him to ease his own fears of the world around him…

When Sammy soon finds that movie making is all he really wants to do, as it encompasses his every waking moment, his sisters aren’t quite as privileged as he, in finding an escape from all their family dysfunction…except for when friend Bennie comes a calling…

So, as Sammy works diligently on making his first very elaborate feature film, it seems that he may have caught a glimpse of his mother and their “Uncle Bennie” sharing more than just a stroll down memory lane…

Torn on what to do with this newfound information, Sammy soon decides that maybe making movies isn’t really what he is destined to do, even though he is asked to film their Senior skip day party at the beach, because he is so masterfully crafted in making films, that his reputation apparently proceeds him, even in the eyes of his fellow classmates…

And before you know it, the life of a college student comes a calling, but it isn’t long before Sammy finds himself trying to convince his father Burt that making films is all he wants to do and wasting time in school is only taking time way from his creative endeavors, not enhancing them. 

So, with a gleam in his eye, and a film camera in his hand, Sammy sets out to be an assistant, to the assistant, to the assistant at a large film studio, wishing each and every moment that he will get the opportunity to create films that are as legendary as Director John Ford’s 1962 masterpiece…” Who Shot Liberty Valance” …but I guess, we’ll just have to wait and see

I give THE FABELMAN’S a rating of 5 out of 5 stars:  Did we really expect that a film, which is set in the younger years of Director Steven Spielberg’s life to be anything else but perfect???  I think not, as you too will be instantly transported into the life of this incredible film-making genius, and true mastermind behind the camera.  I like the fact that even though we all know that “this is your life Steven Spielberg” is the premise of this film, it was wonderful how Spielberg and Kushner selectively shared this autobiography with the audience, allowing for the viewer to take in and process the totally dysfunctional family dynamic that young Sammy endures, while really not shoving it home!  I was also takin in by how perfectly cast THE FABELEMANS is too, as young Gabriel LaBelle is exceptional playing the young film maker, who wants nothing more than to share his perfectly crafted stories with the world.  I was also excited to see how wonderful Michelle Williams and Paul Dano were in their respective roles, as they try desperately to make their marriage work, and keep their family together…but when you’re a genius, sometimes that leaves little room for anything else your life, leaving your significant other to feel like they are  lost in translation…leaving nothing but heartache and discontentment around every turn.

Rogan was wonderful this time around too, playing the world’s favorite “Uncle” …and best friend to mom Mitzi.  Judd Hirsch was fabulous as well, although I wish his role would have been much bigger throughout this storytelling process, giving him a little more screen time.  Suffice to say that THE FABLEMAN’s is going to definitely be vying for “Movie of the year” come awards season, as whether you agree that Spielberg is the greatest Director of our generation, or not, this perfectly crafted tale of his life’s journey into movie-making, is one film that should be experienced by everyone over the age of 12, and nowhere else but on a big screen near you!,

5 out of 5 Stars

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