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The Fabelmans

Opening Date
09 Feb 2023
PG13 Some Coarse Language & Drug References
150 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Steven Spielberg
Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten and Judd Hirsch
“Movies are dreams that you never forget.”A deeply personal portrait of 20th Century American childhood, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans is a coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret and an exploration of the power of movies to help us see the truth about each other and ourselves.
By InCinemas  09 Feb 2023
Peak Spielberg.
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Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg has peppered in personal experiences in his works for decades but never has he addressed it straight on until now. Following the success of West Side Story (2021), Spielberg reunites with writer Tony Kushner to bring to life one of the former's most personal films to date, The Fabelmans – an intimate semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a filmmaker.

The Fabelmans follows young aspiring filmmaker Sammy Fabelman, who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him. It stars Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, alongside Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch.

Hirsch–who only appears for a short sequence in the film’s 151-minute runtime–delivers a standout performance as Sammy’s granduncle Boris who left his family to pursue his dreams. He imparts wisdom on having to choose love for family or art–something he experienced first-hand and of which he noticed Sammy was struggling with too–but it’s his slightly deranged delivery that makes an impact not only on Sammy but the viewers as well. Williams and Dano’s wonderfully grounded performances as Mitzi and Burt Fabelman lend to the film’s emotional aspect, playing important roles in Sammy’s life.

The moment one first falls in love with the magic of cinema is a core memory that most would hold onto dearly and it’s a moment beautifully captured in the film when young Sammy’s parents take him to see his first film, Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth. Child actor Mateo Zoryan Francis-DeFord may not have gotten much screen time as young Sammy but the authentic childlike wonder on his face is enough to leave a lasting impression. Heck, it’s even featured on some of the film’s promotional materials.

It’s hard to ignore the continuity error with the lead character's eye colour, especially since their faces are so prominently featured but it’s easy to forgive the mistake considering Gabriel LaBelle’s endearing performance as teenage Sammy. We’re reminded of the same energy exuded by Cooper Hoffman in Licorice Pizza, perfectly encapsulating the character's bright-eyed love for films and the familial affliction he endures.

The Fabelmans is a charming and bittersweet coming-of-age film that’s unafraid to tackle the real-life tragedies that befalls a family and the trials and tribulations of each member. But amongst the heartache and pain, there is hope (much like most of Spielberg’s films). There’s something profound in watching a lovable protagonist attain his dreams with his talent and signifcant support along the way.

Spielberg is undoubtedly one of the most prolific filmmakers of our time, it’s no wonder his magnum opus is a film based on his life. We’re sure a sensation like The Fabelmans will only continue to inspire future Steven Spielbergs in the making. 
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The Fabelmans Official Trailer

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