“Movies are dreams that you never forget.” This line is pulled straight from Steven Spielberg’s newest venture into the cinema. It is also one of the core ideals at the center of the film. You could also say that movies are dreams come true. I feel this is the case for the film The Fabelmans. Spielberg completely pours himself into the story, even stealing inspiration from his own life. It is clear to see that this was a passion project for the acclaimed director. But I would argue this is more an ode to cinema and storytelling than it is to his own life and for that reason I will stick to discussing the film and well-done aspects rather than Spielberg himself. Now let us dip in to the central themes and how dreams become reality when given just the right amount of care.
A dream, by my own understanding, is another form of a wish. The wish to fly, to be rich, to be loved. Those of us who dare to dream have become known as dreamers. Our heads are stuck up in the clouds while those who cannot see what we do, try to bring us down to earth. Making the monotony manageable. But the secret I have found is that there can be both. Use those dreams to escape reality. That is exactly what lead character Sam does throughout the film. He uses movie making as a way to cope with and understand emotions and situations. Fear when witnessing a falsified train accident floods his mind until he must recreate it himself with a toy car and a train set. Once seeing his final result on film his infatuation with movie making becomes insatiable. This, along with his dream loving mother, helps to fuel a life long passion.
Mitzi Fabelman is a character to behold, brought whimsically to life by Michelle Williams. She is a woman weighed down by the choices of her past and the people of the present. Her husband Burt is living his dream while Mitzi is still searching. The problems between them begin to grow as their different, and somewhat self-centered, ideals butt raging heads. Paul Dano’s stoic yet centered performance balances out the mismatched couple.
The film also shines through with its lighting and score. One particular dance scene cements its nominations for both categories. Said scene packs the deep, emotional whimsy with its soft and almost airy lighting effects. Great amounts of care were taken to ensure it provoked emotion from audience members. Whatever emotion you choose is completely correct.
Now I must say that while the film does seem to drag in certain spots, such as a fairly long run time and lack of romantic undertones when needed, it is certainly one to be seen on the big screen. Its loving ode to cinema as a whole should be properly appreciated. The writing is spot on and even some side characters get their moment in the sun. A particular scene involving a bully shines brighter than sun itself. I could not recommend this film more, especially for those who love finding their selves amongst the clouds once again. With all that being said, I wish you all a good day and a good evening, and may you dream become stories.