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Don Reviews "The Fabelmans"


Looking at career of Steven Spielberg, there are so many films to show his evolution as a director and an artist. There are many out there who give him a lifetime pass because of his body of work, but some of his films lately have not quite resonated with me that could be the result of a number of factors, but with “The Fabelmans,” I was greatly intrigued.


Spielberg also co-wrote here and he has the acting talents of Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Judd Hirsch, Seth Rogen, Chloe East and Sam Rechner to help tell the story in 1952 of Sammy Fabelman (LaBelle) and his Jewish family of his three sisters along with their mother Mitzi (Williams) and father Burt (Dano). Sammy falls in love with movies at a very young age as the family moves to Arizona for his father’s job with General Electri. As a teenager, he starts making films a hobby along with the help of his scout troop, and they are all a big hit with his friends and family. As he reaches high school, the family moves to California where life starts to get rougher as Sammy and his family tries to grow together.


I could tell that “The Fabelmans” put a lot of time and effort into being pin-point accurate visually, and anyone who is a film historian will absolutely love this aspect of it alone. The cast does a great job overall, but I fully expect to see award nominations from LaBelle, Williams and Dano when it is time and maybe even some recognition given to Rogan in a more dramatic role that I have seen him in.


From a storytelling standpoint, there is a lot of emotion here as it deals with the dynamics of growing up and family, but at two and a half hours it just moves too slowly. By the time the credits rolled, I was more than ready to go; there could easily have been thirty to forty-five minutes cut back without losing any quality. Knowing that this is semi-autobiographical for Spielberg, I understand how hard it would have been for him to cut anything, but it still may have needed to be done.


I am fairly certain that because of his reputation and the nature of this film that it will be talked about a lot during award season. Whether it deserves EVERYTHING it is sure to get or not can be up for debate, but I just could not get past the pacing, so I will recommend “The Fabelmans” as a Redbox rental.

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