It usually happens. On more than one occasion we see the trailer of a film and the same is so well achieved, that it can play against the time of watching a film. That happens with The Fabelmans (which we could also call The Spielbergs), the new production of the very talented director Steven Spielberg.
With more than 30 titles directed, with hits ranging from, obviously ET The Extraterrestrial, to The Purple Color, Minority Report (Pre-Sentence), AI Artificial Intelligence, Schindler’s List, Horse of War, The Post, Munich and the list continues, it is impossible to find a film from the director that one would say is not good. One may be better than another, but there is something that guarantees its direction: it is that we are always dealing with a quality bet.
Without embargo, The Fabelmans will not be among the best and that is not a bad thing either. It’s Spielberg, okay? Do you have to see it? of course Will it dazzle us? No. Will we enjoy the story? For sure. So what’s wrong?
The Fabelmans tells the story of a young man named Sam Fabelman, who would become Spielberg himself. It begins with the first time he went to a movie in the theater and is overshadowed by a scene in which a train crashes into a car and then another train. This gives him nightmares, although he remains interested in what he lives and his father, an absolutely “technical” man, decides to give him an electric train.
The recreation of the scene he lives in the cinema is his first step into the world of cinematography, using his father’s camera. From here, he begins to film family scenes and when he reaches adolescence, what was a hobby ends up becoming a passion that he wants to follow as a profession, using his friends, colleagues and relatives, to make the his first productions.
This link with the seventh art comes from his mother, a frustrated singer and pianist, free-spirited and adventurous, quite different from her husband’s character as an engineer.
At some point, when a viewer wants to get more involved in the filmic story of Sam/Steven, the script gets lost in extremely personal issues like the problems of bullying at school (for being Jewish) or in the separation of his family, as her mother is in love with her father’s best friend.
Thinking about the cinematography and the handling of cameras, Spielberg did things remarkably better. And this, his film, was a great opportunity to show everything he is capable of. OKAY. Perhaps we already know everything he can achieve and how he inspired generations of directors. But, it would have been a golden pin to an impressive career.
Michelle Williams’ performance as Sam’s mother is up to par with her previous work, Paul Dano as his father is up to the task and teenage Sam, played by Gabriel LaBelle, is more than well done.
Some years ago, when JJ Abrams, a fan of Spielberg, made the film Super 8, as a tribute to Spielberg, we found a 100% Spielberg product, with all the magic that Steven had accustomed us to. From the story, to the lighting, the music, the cinematography and a clear reminiscence of the now 75-year-old director’s phrase in which he stated a long time ago: “I am ready to be an adult with the sole condition of keep my childhood passport”.
While Super 8 had soul, passion and feeling, with The Fabelmans, we find a film that is too small, for such a huge director. But it’s the story that Spielberg wanted to tell. And as he said in an interview, it ended up being a “40 million dollar therapy session.” And at this stage of his career, he can afford these luxuries.
More about the film on its official website.