Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Movie Review - The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg has crafted his newest and most personal film, the Fabelmans, with the grace of his cumulative decades earnt in a lifetime of filmmaking.

The highest-grossing director in cinematic history can now, perhaps, claim his final mastery of the medium -- no director has ploughed more creative ground. A staggering 33 feature films are behind him in his career (and hundreds of producing credits, too), the only place left to create from was his experience; looking back across the field of years to find where his sense of self came from.

In The Fabelmans, Spielberg creates a memoir of his upbringing in the 1950s in New Jersey – close to truth yet maudlinly toned. Here, Sammy Fabelman, a thinly veiled Spielberg stand-in, finds his early, burgeoning love for cinema after watching Cecil B Demille’s The Greatest Show on Earth. His passion for filmmaking erupts and we continue to follow Sammy through his life, through family drama, and until his inevitable success.

It is a coming-of-age story through and through and allows Spielberg to show off his best asset: the playing up of childhood’s saccharin nature, its naivety and glowing perspective of the world, of new things – something he has done more deftly than any director before or since. Spielberg has mastered the so sweet it hurts your teeth, somehow it is never cloying. It is an ode to childhood, to loss of innocence, to passion and art, and the complexity of familial dynamics and love.

“Most of my movies have been a reflection of things that have happened to me,” Spielberg said. “But in the sense of The Fabelmans, it wasn’t about metaphor, it was about memory.”

Here is presented what we all fall in love with on the big screen: exceptional cinema that shows us ourselves. It stands on its own on two fronts; as an autobiographical, self-critical insight into a cultural figure, and as a piece of movie magic that is true to the human spirit.

The Fabelmans (M) is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.

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