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View Poll Results: rate THE FABELMANS

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    9 15.00%
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    14 23.33%
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    20 33.33%
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    10 16.67%
  • 6

    4 6.67%
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    2 3.33%
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    1 1.67%
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Thread: The Fabelmans (Spielberg, 2022)

  1. #61
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    I don’t understand the confusion over Sam revealing Logan was cheating. Sam was surrounded by bullies, both aggressive and passive. He lashed out to hurt the bullies, of which the girlfriend was one. It felt as realistic as anything in the film, perhaps doubly so when it led to him getting a girlfriend. Such is the nature of high school and the shifting battle lines.

    But I still think the dance was the pinnacle of the story. He bungled his relationships as he worked through the baggage he was dealt by his parents, even while wielding his craft to please an audience that didn’t like him. And he couldn’t articulate why he did it, it was simply an innate drive. Yet even that backfired as he realized the doubled-edged sword wrought by his manipulations he thought were innocent. There was more poetry in those scenes there than in any Hirsch monologue about the heart and art tearing you apart, let alone Mitzi talking about scientists vs artists.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Shiva The God Of Death's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepCSC View Post
    I don’t understand the confusion over Sam revealing Logan was cheating. Sam was surrounded by bullies, both aggressive and passive. He lashed out to hurt the bullies, of which the girlfriend was one. It felt as realistic as anything in the film, perhaps doubly so when it led to him getting a girlfriend. Such is the nature of high school and the shifting battle lines.
    Sam cowered whenever the bullies did anything to him. Then Logan, at his girlfriend's urging, tells Sam's main antagonist to back off. And so Sam outs Logan as a cheater in front of everyone?

    Sorry, that doesn't make a lick of sense to me. At that moment, Sam had every reason to want to stay on Logan's good side. And to want Logan's relationship to remain intact.

    If Sam was so angered by the bullying that he suddenly became completely irrational, then that should have been shown to us, but it wasn't.

    Also, how was Logan's girlfriend one of the bullies?

  3. #63
    What a happy day it is! Elliott?'s Avatar
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    I'm still not sold that this is top-tier Spielberg, but the mirror shot during the divorce announcement... whew. And the confrontation with the bully is one of the best things he's ever done.

    I also really can't imagine anyone voting for Michelle to win Best Actress for this, LMAO, especially with the likes of Yeoh and Blanchett and Deadwyler in the mix. Then again, the Oscars are riddled with choices I can't fathom, so it wouldn't be anything new.

  4. #64
    Woke Flop mysteryfan04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott? View Post
    I also really can't imagine anyone voting for Michelle to win Best Actress for this, LMAO, especially with the likes of Yeoh and Blanchett and Deadwyler in the mix. Then again, the Oscars are riddled with choices I can't fathom, so it wouldn't be anything new.

  5. #65
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    I saw this last night, and tears started falling within the first 15 minutes, and then I cried numerous times throughout the film from then on.

    It is not perfect, no, but it comes close and it's on another (higher and better and more well-done) level of masterfulness for two very specific film niche genres that have permeated our world since the dawn of time, but have felt especially popular in recent years.. those genres being: auteurs (or not even auteurs, really) wanting to tell their CHILDHOOD story and all that, and Hollywood-filmmaking-movie stories that are "love letters to cinema". Which I'm sure is a term and a genre we'd all love to set on fire and burn and throw away into the can at this point, no? Well, Spielberg achieves what needs to be achieved here, he really does. And it's a funny thing to dissect, it really is, I have to say. Because it has so many layers to it, both of those genres and the attempt that many filmmakers make to hitting the nail on the head with those two specific genres, is a big conversation. Or, at least, I think it begs for a larger conversation to be had, especially if it's a good effort. A good to great to masterful effort, like The Fabelmans is.

    Because Steven Spielberg is that filmmaker, he is that director, he is that moviemaker and storyteller that feels like popular Americana. He is the name, the body of work, the technique and the sheer storytelling talent, that can make a "love letter to cinema" and make a movie about his childhood and his world, and it feels right. Even though this wanders into schmaltzy territory, it's Spielberg schmaltz and for me, I'm eating that shit up to a certain extent. It gets heavy handed and meh during the locker scene where the bully and LaBelle shared a joint, lol. Tony Kushner was really trying to write there, wasn't he! And don't get me wrong, Kushner is my favorite modern American playwright. His magnum opus and one of the highest and best pieces of art in the last 50 years or so - his two-part play, "Angels in America" - will live on long after all of us are dead and gone and this forum has been shut down and robots are making our movies for us and acting in them to boot. But as a screenwriter, Tony Kushner feels like he is still writing for the stage. Too grand, too big, too much at times, for me. For me. And that's me being fair, and me admitting that sometimes he doesn't understand the box he's writing in or the world he needs to pay attention to. So yeah, I nearly hated every second of the "school bullies" stuff, meaning the literal dialogue and the acting from said bullies. I still think that bully storyline is integral to the coming-of-age aspect of the story, and integral to the actual Spielberg origin story. And LaBelle is consistently strong here, and everything outside of the bully story and the bully's girlfriend who breaks up with him who is played by the actress that was the girl from "Licorice Pizza" - this part of the film I literally could not give less a fuck about it, sorry, lol - everything related to the school storyline that isn't the bully stuff was good for me. The bully stuff is necessary, but the actual acting and the dialogue and the scene structure of those bully scenes and the pay off the weed/joint scene is.. dumb, kind of. Didn't care for it. But the other school stuff, like Chloe East being absolutely hilarious and a breath of fresh air, that was amazing. Loved it.

    Because honestly that's one of my only gripes with the story/film/structure, etc. - this film is brilliant at time lapsing, and jumping from place to place, and efficiency with coming-of-age family drama progression. It was really great. And felt incredibly accessible, and yet so Spielberg-esque. The scene where young Sammy is filming them drive into the driveway and puts up his hand, and we flash forward to LaBelle as older Sammy. I gasped. But the transitions in this film, are so brilliant.

    And there's a dreamy quality to it, that I really appreciated. People are saying that Michelle Williams over-acted? Puh-lease. C'mon now, she could've gawked and hollered and cried way harder, and any number of actresses would've either gone way too far with the suffering and not added any semblance of charisma, or they would've just been completely dull and boring to watch. Michelle literally made the character incredibly interesting, morally dubious with all the cheating subplot, which was actually heartbreaking because poor Paul Dano is so damn good at playing Spielberg's somewhat shy, very book-smart, non-funny and very straight-laced father that you can't help but feel damn sorry as hell for him when he gets photos of Mitzi at the end in the corner with his ex-best friend as they are flirting and laughing together. The performances here are great. And they are somewhat heightened, sure it's not utter realism the entire time, which I could've maybe, maybe just slightly appreciated more. But Spielberg's tone is his tone. This is the semi-dreamy, very nostalgic lens through which he is telling his story. This is the way many of us might view our childhood when we are at a certain age: the highs were super high and endearing, and the lows felt like the end of the road. Film in and of itself is the kind of art form that drips with nostalgia if you want it to, and if you have taste and technique and you're a good storyteller, you can make that nostalgia drip like delicious honey and it will works it's magic for you. And this film worked magic for me pretty much consistently throughout, with moments and sequences of sheer masterfulness and emotional brevity. These scenes have already been mentioned above: the scene where Sammy begins to imagine himself filming his parents pain. That is one for the books. There are numerous sequences like this throughout that just made me think that Spielberg really is the one to write a love letter to cinema. And I'm glad he did.

    More words could be said. Maybe I'll write more later.

    I didn't love the ending, the wink to the audience felt a bit too cheap just end right then and there. Wish it would've been something else and it's honestly one of the reasons why the film is not perfect or near-near-perfect for me. It's still a masterpiece, I'd say.

    What a great year for actressing, for my kind of actressing at least: Michelle Williams and Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh, hmmm. I will truly, truly be happy for any of them if they win. If all three of them end up in that final lineup, this will be one of the greatest lineups we've had in a while.


  6. #66
    Senior Member dyedred19's Avatar
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    A star!!!

    Was Chloe East's performance my favorite part of the movie? Maybe! What a knockout.

    Anyway, I thought this was pretty good! The high school scenes were a bit overstuffed and repetitive to me. I think this easily could have lost, like, 15 minutes and benefited. Still, some highly impressive stuff here.

    It's a weird thought to have while watching a movie, but multiple times I thought, "I can't wait to randomly turn on 20 minutes of this when I catch it on TV over the years." It just has that cozy, sentimental, nostalgic feeling.

    Perhaps the most impressive part is that, at least for me, it didn't really feel self-indulgent. A magic tricky, really.

  7. #67
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    people who liked Chloe East need to watch Genera+ion.

  8. #68
    Senior Member dyedred19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TailSpin View Post
    people who liked Chloe East need to watch Genera+ion.
    Ugh, fine.

  9. #69
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    I really REALLY loved this! Just came back from a packed cinema and I don't think I so much as blinked the whole time I watched it. It felt rapturous and incredibly moving without being overly sentimental. It was self-reflective without feeling self-congratulatory or manipulative and it made me laugh and cry a bunch of times. It's so much more than just a "love letter to cinema" or a "boy who just wanted to make movies" story.
    The cast is absolutely amazing here. Williams is a total star and does an amazing job here, Gabriel LaBelle is brilliant, Dano is fantastic too and Judd Hirsch just compltely steals the show. John Williams wonderful score couldn't be more perfect. Just everything about this film was so incredibly well done. Spielberg is indeed a master of his craft.
    Last edited by ShinyShinyGirl; 12-02-2022 at 03:23 PM.

  10. #70
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    Borderline flawless film. Michelle Williams is doing work that will be admired and adored for decades to come. Chloe East is an absolute star. Oscars and box office success are irrelevant. This movie is for the ages.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikenichols08 View Post
    Borderline flawless film. Michelle Williams is doing work that will be admired and adored for decades to come. Chloe East is an absolute star. Oscars and box office success are irrelevant. This movie is for the ages.
    It really did feel like a classic for the ages. It made me choke up with how poignant and emotional it was. Absolutely deserving of best picture.

  12. #72
    Woke Flop mysteryfan04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyShinyGirl View Post
    Williams is a total star and does an amazing job here
    Quote Originally Posted by mikenichols08 View Post
    Michelle Williams is doing work that will be admired and adored for decades to come.
    Educate them.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TailSpin View Post
    people who liked Chloe East need to watch Genera+ion.
    Spilled

  14. #74
    Noli Me Tangere lazarus's Avatar
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    This was pretty great, and surprisingly restrained on the visual front, or at least I'd say that Spielberg's usually very mobile camera has been held close for more still/modest shots with strong import.

    The cast is solid across the board; Williams was a little too much for me at the beginning, or I just had to get used to her, but there's a lot of subtle work going on in addition to the more studied choices. One could argue that the character is performative by nature and therefore Williams is simply replicating that, but it's hard when you have the very naturalistic Dano and Gabriel LaBelle opposite her. Dano, who can often rub me the wrong way, was very touching with his minimalism. The final scene in the Los Angeles apartment was heartbreaking. And of course Williams has too many great moments to mention. Rogen also impressed me a lot; he didn't exactly stray far from his own persona, but I thought he pulled off the confrontation between Bennie and Sam very well.

    Also nice to see Julia Butters get more work, but the issue that her great scene with LaBelle in Sam's bedroom raises is that the other sister is never even sketched as a person at all--having an outburst during the family's discussion of the separation isn't really a character detail. Not sure what the point of the baby/kid was, either. If you're going to change the name of the main character to make it just off-center of autobiography, then there's no reason for the family to have the same number of children as the real Spielberg family, especially if you're not going to give them all actual characters. Hirsch was so lovely to see, but I also can't disagree with those who feel like he's flown in from a different film, and one can really see the machinery at work in how his visit comes and goes with little explanation.

    I enjoyed seeing Spielberg out of his usual wheelhouse with something like the camping scene, which felt organic and lived in, and the home movies were replicated in the same way, with the right amount of amateurism and mundanity. The scene with a drunk Williams dancing goes beyond this, but the way it's built toward makes it burst out of the ordinary so seamlessly, and we're able to see the "secret" Mitzi in the way the other characters are. And while we've seen Spielberg do "beach" stuff before in Jaws, I thought he nailed this particular slice of Americana that didn't feel ersatz as something like Grease.

    Also restrained was the work of Kaminski (who only had a couple of obnoxiously blown-out moments), and Williams, who did such nice, atypical (less stately) work here. The latter could have gone really over the top and milked the emotion, and thankfully him and Spielberg chose not to go that route, augmenting period source music and the classical pieces played by Mitzi with some more shaded score material.

    My frequent criticism with Spielberg is that he often stumbles at the finish line and doesn't end his films well, that they often break down into something that hand-holds the audience, or outright insults them with unnatural/unearned sentiment. There's too many guilty titles to list but it includes some of his very good/great ones. I actually thought he wrapped up this one in a much more elegant fashion, with the final Sam/Mitzi scene and aforementioned Sam/Burt scene, plus the fantastic coda on the studio lot with that wonderfully winking, fourth wall-breaking final shot.

    HOWEVER, and if we're to believe Uncle Boris that Sam's passion for cinema is more important than his family, the real climax of the film comes earlier, in the confrontation with his high school classmate Logan after Sam's Senior Ditch Day film is shown to the school. Right after Sam calls Logan the dumbest person he's ever met, even dumber than Mitzi's monkey, Logan goes on this monologue about the exalted way Sam has visually depicted him vs his actual self-image, and the crushing distance between them that has caused such an emotional upheaval while watching himself in this way. Well, that's a pretty profound and eloquent bit of self-realization from a supposedly moronic 18 year-old jock! What rubs me the wrong way about this phony exchange isn't just the unbelievability of Logan as we know him expressing all this (we're given nothing else to suggest he's any less shallow than Sam accuses him of being), but that it also suggests that Sam-as-Spielberg is way more subversive than we know him to be in the depiction of the human condition, at least from that young age and early in his career. For a guy who didn't write one of his own screenplays until Close Encounters (and we now know he paid off others to dishonestly take sole credit for it), I just don't buy it. Or that is to say, had we seen what Sam did in deconstructing this school hero without having Logan spell it out for it us, it might have gone down easier as something accidentally insightful, preternatural, whatever.

    Thankfully, the film didn't end there it or it would have left more of a bad taste in my mouth when the credits rolled. Regardless, I'm docking Kushner and Spielberg some points for that bit of snake oil salesmanship.

    This wouldn't be the worst BP winner by any means, but it would be kind of ridiculous for Spielberg to win a directing Oscar for it, one year after his truly bravura work on West Side Story, which I think is ultimately a better film regardless of its less personal nature. It excited me more as cinema, while moving me just as much. And I think it also has just as much to say about children and (absent) parents and generational issues. And this would also be a disappointing original screenplay winner a year after Paul Thomas Anderson lost with Licorice Pizza, which is also flawed but just a little more interesting and unique to me.

    8.5 rounded down to 8.
    Last edited by lazarus; 12-04-2022 at 08:38 PM.
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  15. #75
    Senior Member JPN13's Avatar
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    Great review, laz.

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