The Fabelmans – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Fabelmans – Through Life’s Lens: Family and Art

In life, we straddle the line trying to move forward.  We attempt to push past all the noise, trying to find a reason to continue.  Through all the ups and downs, eventually we end up in a place we always wanted to be.  This is a message that strikes true endearment … especially in film.  In this review, I look at the latest Steven Spielberg film.  A story that places a prime on life’s journey, it is a tale that bends into the arts.  With a strong cast in a simple tale, The Fabelmans is an endearing journey that shows the meaning of capturing the moment. 

This is a story about a boy trying to find his place in the world.  Through all the troubles of adolescence and family, Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) will find the truth … in film.  The basic outline builds on family drama and coming-of-age themes with a focus on character.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Sammy Fabelman, a young boy who becomes enamored with cinema after watching The Greatest Show on Earth.  From this point, the story builds through a ‘day in the life’ approach on the Fabelmans while paralleling Sammy’s affinity for film.  The director (Steven Spielberg) builds a subtle narrative, slowly highlighting the underling family issues while progressing a hardy tone for inspiration.  The soothing nature is built through common-like dialogue, a slow burn of emotional overtures that reveals the fragility of life.  Through the constant moving from town to town (because of his father’s job), his mother’s melancholy behavior and high school melodrama, it builds up a catalyst of truths in Sammy’s films.  After each film, it starts to reveal the raw aptitude of human behavior, lifting the simplicity of the tale to a height of art imitating life.  Each moment marks a certain point of the craft while also showing character growth in Sammy.  The leveling of levity is driven by him and other performers (Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, etc.) as they add characterization to the art.  As he navigates all these hardships, it is within his abstract vision that further drives meaningful reflection of moving forward.

As the story continues, Sammy begins to find a through line behind the lens.  Through his family, high school drama and personal relationships, the irony of moments becomes a template in his craft.  As Sammy sees through the lens, he builds off of what is present to reflect the naked eye of a person’s disguise.  This provides a catalyst to an honest approach of what is real in pain.  As revelations come through, this leads into a third act and climax that puts a prime on the meaningful purpose of the art.  The Fabelmans is a journey into the meaning of life, art and film.  With strong performances and great direction, this film will not disappoint.  If you are a fan of Spielberg, family of coming-of-age tales, this is one for you.  This is a definite good time at the theaters. 

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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