The Fabelmans (2022)

by Afra Nariman

The Fabelmans (2022)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogan, David Lynch


“Is he lying?”

“No, he’s telling a story.”

Short one-liners and moments like this, which shed light on the ideas that have shaped Spielberg’s approach to storytelling, fill his most personal film to date. A variety of emotions are captured effortlessly in The Fabelmans. With this semi-autobiographical love letter to the movies, Spielberg illustrates how cinema has the unique ability to capture love simultaneously with pain; laughter simultaneously with despair, and hope with fear. For better or worse, Spielberg’s work has always represented human beings’ capacity to embody this emotional complex; where in the face of anything painful, or sad, or frightening — he reminds us that we can find love, or a reason to laugh, or something to be hopeful for. In The Fabelmans, we are given a glance into why Spielberg has spent the better part of over five decades storytelling through this perspective, and are shown what led him to so passionately uphold these values. 

The Fabelmans is deeply sentimental, yet avoids being too sappy. It is clearly nostalgic, though it continues to look forward with the same relentless wonder that has defined Spielberg’s entire oeuvre, and which embraces and celebrates everything that happens around us. With this film, Spielberg also offers us his two-cents on what cinema means — not to society, or culture, or anything along those lines, which we may typically reference when discussing the purpose of cinema — but what it means to him, as an individual and as an artist. 

In summary, David Lynch’s new film was great. His performance is everything you’d expect and more. 

“Now get the f*ck out of my office!”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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