Part of OscaRRR Picks + Best Picture Marathon
Nominated for 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Directing, Actress in a Leading Role (Michelle Williams), Actor in a Supporting Role (Judd Hirsch), Music (Original Score), Production Design, Writing (Original Screenplay)
All Screenings: Pre-recorded introduction from Nancy Spielberg, sister of Stephen Spielberg
Steven Spielberg’s most personal film yet is based on the master director’s childhood passion for moviemaking, and the family dynamics that found their way into his work.
Gabriel LaBelle gives a breakout performance as the teenage Sammy Fabelman, always desperate for a new piece of gear so he can make ever-bigger movies with his friends. Michelle Williams is the heart of the story as Sammy’s encouraging mother, a skilled pianist. She brings life to their household, a fact Mr. Fabelman (Paul Dano), a computer engineer, finds as enchanting as he does discombobulating. Their family is rounded out by his loveable co-worker Benny (Seth Rogen), who becomes an uncle to Sammy and his sisters, always along for the ride with the Fabelmans. This unique combination of parental figures eventually becomes a source of tension with Sammy at the center, and that seeps into his creative work.
Instead of chasing sharks or running from giant boulders, Spielberg has Sammy navigating the interpersonal landmines of home and school life, in what may be the most emotionally expansive film of his career. Starting with gunslingers and war stories — the way any Boy Scout in the late 1950s might — Sammy/Spielberg shows us not only what sparked Spielberg’s love for cinema, but also how empathy and human relationships have sneaked their way into the work of this master filmmaker. (Synopsis from the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival Program Guide)
“...THE FABELMANS is a coming-of-age story, a romance, an emotional drama, an account of familial resilience, a fairy tale, and a yarn of a young artist finding his voice all in one.” —Tomris Laffly, The Playlist “A fervent, hand-on-heart testament to the eternal lure of movies, made by one of the foremost magicians of the craft.” —Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly “For decades, Spielberg has shown us ourselves through the magic of his movies, and with THE FABELMANS, he finally shows us who he is, the good and the bad, and pain and the joys, the magic and the mayhem.” —Ross Bonaime, Collider “Spielberg’s a born storyteller, and these are arguably his most precious stories.” —Peter Debruge, Variety