Reconnecting with that moment that leads filmmakers to make films is something that happens at one point or another in their careers, especially if they work in an industry that often experiences one or two worsening crises. The pandemic has brought this linking of sources more clearly, to the directors entering completely into the psyche of his child from the point of view of the passage of time and understanding the things happening around him.
It is a great exercise in therapy, which exploits the possibilities of art, although sometimes doubt remains as to the extent to which we are invited to dramatic exploration. Sometimes it is believed that you should be involved in what happens, after all one of the most important directors who studied himself. That was the selling point that would have made ‘The Fabelmans’ a success.
A non-model family
Instead, it turned out to be one of Steven Spielberg’s movies that went unnoticed. 7 nominations for the Oscars held this year and winner of the audience award at the Toronto Festival, but disappointing commercially in cinemas, the terrain that the director precisely dominates. Maybe because its exploration does not fall into easy feeling or simplicity which makes a chaotic picture that can be seen streaming on Movistar+ as well as broadcasting on the Premieres channel starting tonight.
Signing the script with playwright Tony Kushner, Spielberg made his family The Fabelmans, a group that borders on the idyllic American model but whose reality is more complicated. An engineer father (Paul Dano) and an artistically sensitive mother (Michelle Williams) find all the depths between them, and hope that the economic stability provided by a job in California will solve of all. Meanwhile, the young and eccentric Sammy developed an intense passion for the art of cinemawhich he practiced as an amateur with his sisters and schoolmates, at the same time that he had difficulties because of his Jewish heritage.
It’s hard to summarize in broad strokes what Spielberg is trying to say, mainly because trying to put together all the possible parts of an episodic story. Religious conflicts, emotional fractures within the family and cinema as an attempt to process what is happening outside and inside. Or as a mechanism to discover what is hidden.
‘The Fabelmans’: Spielberg in the mirror
The identification of some characters is sometimes not convincing, and their appearances are easy . The differences between their parents are clear, the practical person is distracted by the process as opposed to the more sensitive mother who does not agree with convention. Both represent the features that define Spielberg, an artist of extreme emotions as well as a privileged vision to obtain it from a technical point of view.
It is a gift that, at times, in ‘The Fabelmans’ can be seen as a curse, especially when the young analogue of Spielberg finds himself thinking about how to film the tragic moments of his family . the one of the most captivating sequences seen in recent cinema where it was achieved that form and substance reached a terrible beauty.
Not the entire movie is as accomplished as that scene, but there are a lot of interesting things to highlight, in addition to shooting with usual technical excellence of Spielberg and his frequent collaborators. In addition, she gave us a beautiful moment of her having fun with her meeting with John Ford, so her look in the mirror, although not perfect, is still full of ideas that are worth opening up.