The Fabelmans has been my most anticipated movie of 2022. As a lifelong fan of Steven Spielberg, I had ridiculously high expectations for this one.
And those expectations honestly concerned me as I went into the preview screening earlier this week. There was no way this film could live up to what I had imagined in my head. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. I’m happy to report that it not only lived up to my expectations, it exceeded them.
For those you haven’t seen the commercials or trailer for this one, here’s what you need to know. The movie is not only directed by Steven Spielberg, but it is also written by him, along with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner.
The film, which is based on Spielberg’s life, follows Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker. Sammy falls in love with cinema after his parents taken him to see his first movie, The Greatest Show on Earth, on the big screen.
As Sammy tries to process the experience of his first film, he finds himself armed with a camera and a growing passion for storytelling. Thanks to a supportive mom, some pretty incredible sisters, and a father who would eventually come around – Sammy would keep making movies throughout his childhood and teenage years. And eventually, following graduation and an attempt at college, Sammy finds himself in Hollywood.
The Fabelmans Movie Trailer
The Fabelmans Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like
The 2 hour and 31 minute run time makes The Fabelmans a long movie. But it’s one that is entertaining from beginning to end. And though, at its core, it’s a coming-of-age story filled with drama, it’s also unexpected comedy. The moments of laughter and light-heartedness are spaced perfectly to balance out the more serious moments.
While the film’s main character is Sammy Fabelman, played perfectly by Gabriel LaBelle (The Predator, American Gigolo series), the star that shines the brightest here is Michelle Williams. Her exquisite performance as Mitzi, Sammy’s artistic mother, spans the full array of emotions. She brings such complex depth to Mitzi and is captivating to watch.
The full ensemble cast delivers brilliant performances as well. Paul Dano provides a steady and strong portrayal of Sammy’s successful and scientific father, Burt. Seth Rogen brings laughter and sadness as Uncle Benny. And both the young and older set of actresses that play Sammy’s sisters bring such beautiful support and love to the screen.
Mateo Zoryan also delivers a pure innocence with his role as the younger Sammy Fabelman. He does a wonderful job ant encapsulating the wonder and awe that Sammy felt for the big screen at a young age.
And lastly, Gabriel LaBelle, who plays teenage Sammy… just wow. Not only can the audience see Steven Spielberg in LaBelle, from his mannerisms to his physical looks, but his delivery and timing couldn’t have been more on the nose. It’s a radiant and masterful breakthrough role for LaBelle.
The Fabelmans is a personal film for Steven Spielberg, which also translates to the audience. Movie-goers feel like they’re reading a diary detailing Spielberg’s origin story and his earliest inspirations.
After seeing this one, there’s so much heart and warmth that you feel like you understand Spielberg on a whole different level, a human level. He’s no longer just a brilliant filmmaker. He’s also an incredibly passionate, kind, and funny individual whose true love has always been the art of cinema. It’s quintessential Spielberg, and, for me personally, it’s the best film of 2022.
The Fabelmans Movie Review: