The Fabelmans: The Next Steven Spielberg Classic


published under fair use

The Fabelmans, the newest Steven Spielberg film, was released into theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.

Charlotte Bruchey, Staff Writer

In the loosely based story of his life, director Steven Spielberg brings in a wide range of cast members. Seasoned actors Michelle Williams and Paul Dano star alongside newcomer Gabriel LaBelle, all of whom perform outstandingly well. The movie opens in New Jersey, with the Fabelman parents taking young Sammy to see his first film, Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

The boy is entranced by what he sees, and it sparks his lifelong love of filmmaking. Starting with model train crashes in his New Jersey basement, to war films in the Phoenix desert, to finally his senior year ditch day in Saratoga, California, the viewer follows Sammy’s tumultuous relationship with his camera, and how it impacts those around him – most importantly, his family.

“Movies are dreams, doll, that you never forget. You just wait and see. When it’s over, you’re going to have the biggest, sloppiest smile on your face.” 

Mitzi Fabelman’s words rang true for me while exiting the movie theater, in addition to smiling, I was crying, and laughing, and angry. 

Immediately after leaving Montgomery Cinemas, efficiently star-struck and changed for the better, I downloaded the app Letterboxd (a popular movie review app among ‘film bros’ and cinema buffs alike), and gave the movie 5/5 stars, with the caption “I love cinema,” because that’s truly what this is. As the viewer goes through life with the Fabelmans, Spielberg effectively portrays a full display of human emotion. Depression, heartache, and their impact on familial relations are shown in full. 

Although I could watch this movie 1,000 times over, I would’ve liked to see a more prominent wrap-up to the stories of the other characters in the movie. Other than the letter from his mother, we don’t hear many conclusions about his sisters’ life after the family has separated. I think it would’ve been interesting to include portions regarding his sisters’ experiences in high school, but I understand how that would deviate the focus from Sammy and his life as we now learn about him and his father’s life alone. 

Spielberg has once again taken the opportunity to show off his excellent filmmaking skills, and I strongly encourage everyone to see this movie. Nominated for seven Oscars —Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Michelle Williams), Best Supporting Actor (Judd Hirsch), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design — there’s no better time to see it than now. It’s rarely boring, always visually interesting, and is just a good watch. Spielberg manages to hit home in all the right ways, with aspects that everyone can relate to, whether it be a troubled family life, difficulty with friends and relationships, or moving away from home, it’s hard to leave the theater without feeling emotional.