review by Bobby Blakey
There is no denying that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time so when he is involved there is instantly buzz. His last film had him diving into the world of the musical with West Side Story, but his latest film The Fabelmans looks to hit closer to home being losely based on Spielberg's childhood growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, from age seven to eighteen. The film features a great cast including Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsch, but does it bring an engaging story or is it not worth the big screen?
The Fabelmans follows a young man named Sammy Fabelman who discovers a shattering family secret, and explores how the power of movies help us see the truth about each other and ourselves. The film features a great cast including Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett and Keeley Karsten.
I have been eager to see this film and even more so after hearing the great response it has, but I always try to curb my enthusiasm with these kinds of things so not to be let down. While this is a fantastic film it is one that is dealing with real life situations and circumstances so not always as exciting as you might want it to be. It is also the kind of film that won’t connect with people in the same way. Some will find it slow and kind of pointless where as I found it to be an interesting story of people and passion.
The cast were good, but for me the true standouts were Seth Rogan, Michelle Williams and Judd Hirsch. Rogan is a secondary character, but brings that loveable uncle vibe that even when there is issues is always there to stand by you. Williams brings the heaviest emotion to any of the roles as she navigates being a mother, wife and herself. Hirsch isn’t in the
The story is a simple life journey which isn’t all that exciting a lot of times. film all that much, but his dialogue and purpose has the most effect to what the character is going to become.
Here Spielberg has taking elements of his life to bring this story to the forefront while being a fictional tale. It just felt personal and I think despite it having some pacing issues early and the often times generic nature of the whole thing still showed passion for the project. IT had to be hard to deal with some of these subjects and the situations that occurred but big props for putting it all out there.
I was a bit let down that we never really got to any of the filmmaking outside of his stuff from his youth, but that whole side was still interesting to watch. Knowing the filmmaker he is now you can imagine his unique vision and talent shining through back then with things people were not ready for. There is a scene from a well-known story about young Spielberg meeting director John Ford included that is the perfect cap to the long tale and was so glad it got included.
In the end this film didn’t hit me with the power that I had hoped and will be very hit and miss with people, but it is still a great movie worth checking out. In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including featurettes on bringing this personal story to the big screen.
Grab your copy of The Fabelmans available now on digital on and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on February 14th from Universal Home Entertainment.