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The Fabelmans [Steven Spielberg]

  • 12-09-2022 9:22am
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Movies Are The Best: The Film. Spielberg looks to be bringing it back to something personal in his old age, inspirational even; his own mother was a concert pianist, with the family strife in the trailer nodding towards how the Spielbergs themselves split while Steven was a kid.

    Hollywood films that celebrate Hollywood often come across as over-sincere and utterly pompous; but if anyone could thread the needle, it might be Spielberg - even if he's prone to schmaltz himself.

    Also, Judd Hirsch! 87 and still acting!



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,759 ✭✭✭speedboatchase

  • Registered Users Posts: 271 ✭✭winstonia

    Looks awful. He hasn't made anything decent in years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,444 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    West Side Story, Bridge of Spies, and Lincoln were all in the last 10 years, and all excellent. The Post is decent too, especially considering how quickly they put that whole thing together from script to screen.

    Ready Player One is a bit dodge for sure, but most of its problems come from the source material - his movie was an awful lot better than the book, which is a rarity to find.

  • Registered Users Posts: 271 ✭✭winstonia

    Didn't like any of those. Going as far back as War of the Worlds for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭KilOit

    I loved Ready Player One, I enjoyed it the 2nd time more because the first time I saw it I kept subconsciously referring to the book.

    This films looks like a real gem, can't wait

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,444 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    Sounds like maybe just a divergence in your own tastes and the projects he's chosen, rather than any drop in his actual ability. He's still a very reliable fella to knock out movies that are popular with both critics and audiences.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Spielberg's first flick for Universal since The Lost World in 97. That's interesting.

    Latter-day Spielberg has been a mixed bag but I will bat for Bridge of Spies. Has been a movie that has increased in my estimation over the years. Mark Rylance got the plaudits but Tom Hanks' put in a really understated, humane shift.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80,727 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    It seems to be getting good reviews and Oscar buzz

    There is a cameo by David Lynch as John Ford

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,351 ✭✭✭✭Zeek12

    Bridge of Spies and The Post were both really good imo. Spielberg hasn’t lost his touch.

    Looking forward to this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,253 ✭✭✭MfMan

    Thought 'Bridge..' was dramatically a bit light. Though very wordy, Lincoln was (like so many Spielberg movies) superbly acted.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    The Post was solid. Very preachy about the power and importance of the free press but that's the value of Spielberg. He can wear his emotions on his sleeve but is rarely obnoxious about it.

    I must go back and watch the Tin Tin film again cos while the CGI mightn't have aged well, I recall it having absolutely solid action set pieces.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭Shred

    I love Spielberg and I'm really looking forward to this, it was at TIFF last weekend and the word from there is it's a potential Oscar contender.

  • Registered Users Posts: 485 ✭✭Apothic_Red

    It's a simple & well shot coming of age tale.

    Very sweet in places, Speilbergs ability to direct kids is amazing & on full view here.

    This was the perfect tonic to the Banshees of Inishit we'd watched the previous night.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,243 ✭✭✭p to the e

    But I thought Spielberg doesn't make movies with strong female leads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,402 ✭✭✭Oafley Jones

    The beard, through Amblin, has a (albeit non exclusive) deal with Universal, since Disney distribution ended in 2016. Although this will be the first movie he’s helmed since then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭delboy85

    I saw this yesterday. I thought it was pretty good and the long runtime didn't bother me. But it just lacked something for me. I was expecting something a bit more substantial. I'd still recommend it though. Speilberg is still one of my favourite directors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,930 ✭✭✭steve_r

    Yeah felt the same - I was wondering if a less famous director had made this whether it would be receiving this level of acclaim?

    I wasn't mad on Michelle Williams's performance - it seemed quite manic. I did like the family dynamic and thought that came across well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭delboy85

    I think that's a valid question to ask. Am surprised it's getting such strong reviews too. Much of it just felt very slight to me (but still good). I found the latter third of the film when they move to California more engaging.

    I don't think it's classic Speilberg by any stretch of the imagination.

    But I thought he did an amazing job with "West Side Story".

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭horse7

    It's just a middle of the road movie, doesn't come near the banshees movie.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,505 ✭✭✭✭Mad_maxx

    Bridge of spies was excellent but The Post was monumentally boring

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  • I think Spielberg hasn't had a decent subject matter to work with since Lincoln, and without that he is not able to deliver his magic. The Fablemans is decent enough without being special really in any way. I suppose he gets a pass given it's about his life and at this stage of his career he deserves to be a little indulgent. But he needs a story with some teeth in it over the next few years to deliver his final hurrah and recapture the magic he is capable of.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    This is finally out in cinemas in Ireland; am curious to see this now given the reviews have been all over the place on this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,265 ✭✭✭santana75

    Saw it earlier and I loved every second of it. Michelle Williams is nominated for an Oscar but I found her performance to be over ripe. The character she's portraying is really unlikeable so maybe it's more this than over cooked acting. The kids are very good and the guy playing stephen Spielberg, I mean Sam fableman is excellent. But for me Paul Dano steals the film, he is absolutely outstanding. I have no idea how judd hirsch has been nominated in the best supporting actor category, he was in the movie for 10 minutes tops. He's very good but there's no way he should've been nominated over Dano. Anyway this is a just a great movie all in all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,444 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    Thoroughly enjoyed as well. Absolutely no-one moves the camera like Spielberg.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Was girding myself for sentimentality writ large, so I was surprised just how unflinching this was in terms of its portrayal of directing as a compulsion, bordering on a curse. You could imagine a more masturbatory script that showed young Spielb... uh, Fabelman as this twinkling artist; a pure soul who only wanted to entertain with wonder, whee. Instead, Judd Hirch's one scene mic-drop was a transparent roar towards this idea that it was something more like a sickness; this constant desire to film everything, to understand emotion behind a lens - even if it added distance from the people asking you to share in the immediacy of now. Again it was lacking subtly, but watching Fabelman watch himself film a crucial familial moment spelled this out. Indeed, if I wanted to get really cynical, Michelle Williams' pianist mother was herself drawn as a creative person - but suffering from her own mental health issues. Was this further subtext of "art as compulsive madness", an intentional hard swing away from sentimentalism as was possible?

    So, kinda interesting ... but it was also a somewhat overlong slog in places, and to me there's a valid question at play: if this wasn't Steven Spielberg's supposedly quasi-autobiography, would or should we care? And if it was biographical, why not simply make it thus and bypass these stand ins? Now to be fair, perhaps the whole and unvarnished truth felt too difficult for Spielberg to explore, instead trying for this more fictional version that could at least bridge the gap; that he might put a version of his life on-screen for audiences, without risking either too much honesty - or too little.

    While I still can't decide if that last scene - and that last shot - was indulgent or brilliant.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,404 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Oh I think the last scene and last shot are unquestionably brilliant - by far the most entertaining and sly parts of the film, and I generally liked the film overall. But just the wit and slyness of that last camera tilt, and the sheer brute force of

    David Lynch's cameo...

    just fantastic stuff.

    I do think the film itself does step beyond the clichéd 'love letter to cinema' (shudder) personal cine-memoirs that have become a strange running trend post-COVID. Spielberg gets the 'staring at the screen in wide-eyed wonder' scene over and done with early, and then the rest of the film is about actually making films. It's not exactly vintage Spielberg, but there's something about the casual elegance and fluidity of the craft in both this and West Side Story that make them my favourite films of his since his 2002 double whammy of Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,265 ✭✭✭santana75

    That final scene was magnificent. Although something I really wanted to see was Sam going to see Lawrence of Arabia, I know that film had a profound effect on Spielberg.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,332 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    No, I can't agree that this is a return to that level; obviously "favourite" is not the same as "best", but this was too flat, too meandering to keep me engrossed like those early 2000s big hitters.

    Minority Report is an interesting one to check, given it was a film Spielberg went out of his way to not be himself, to the extent of adding a dirty and gross patina to everything. It was still quite sentimental but its facade very grimy. Fabelmans felt like it was going for the reverse, with sentimental facade with the lack of sentiment through its script - but even then it felt like punches were pulled.

    That last scene. I dunno, the tilt shift was cute but just something didn't ring true with me; felt like it was winking at the audience way too much and would be curious what non film nerds thought of it, those who had no idea who David Lynch is. The surprise wasn't helped by the fact this had been spoiled ages back by people incapable of keeping schtum.

  • I would agree. I found this unremarkable and when it comes to Spielberg, or even Señor Spielbergo I expect more. A bit of gravity and meat to get my teeth into. This film to me was a self indulgence exercise, and there is nothing there to really make me care for it. Not that it was bad, technically, visually or even as a tale. It's just very forgettable and for me not nearly on the level of most of his work. From the greats I expect greatness all round, maybe expecting too much.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,813 ✭✭✭Potatoeman

    The story was a bit too disjointed and meandering. I’m guessing he didn’t call it a biography as he was worried about being sued. It will do well with film buffs but I’m not sure general audiences will be too positive about it.