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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%
  • 7

    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. #21
    Middle Bro android's Avatar
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    Yeah, @affy18 this is more than a default winner. This is like an all American saga on probably the most famous Director alive, to be seen on a big screen, so it will be seen as a change from this year’s winner. I see no less than 5 wins too.

    That said, it’s very much a self-hagiography, which is always like a tricky business for me. But it’s winking back at us for that so. And hey, the man earned it!

  2. #22
    Senior Member affy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by android View Post
    Yeah, @affy18 this is more than a default winner. This is like an all American saga on probably the most famous Director alive, to be seen on a big screen, so it will be seen as a change from this year’s winner. I see no less than 5 wins too.

    That said, it’s very much a self-hagiography, which is always like a tricky business for me. But it’s winking back at us for that so. And hey, the man earned it!
    Thanks


    His dreams only speak of him - Jean-Luc Godard

  3. #23
    Moderator Dent's Avatar
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    Yeah this is really good. Much funnier and more playful than I thought it was going to be, especially the high school section in the second half (Sammy's first "date" with his extremely Christian girlfriend is just incredibly funny, props to that actress for FULLY committing to the bit, she's wonderful). Dano is the MVP (such incredible and moving restraint), but Rogen is quietly terrific having to play "normal guy". Judd Hirsch is pretty great in his two scenes as well.

    I think there will be people who call this sentimental, but there is a real humanity to it. I keep coming back to Rogen's last scene and to a scene where the subject of one of Sammy's films confronts him in high school, where Spielberg gives these characters a surprising amount of grace and compassion and has Sammy be kind of a shit. It's very much a film about understanding what a little shit you were at that age, and recognizing the people around you as people, and how Sammy uses his films as a defense mechanism as much of an artistic calling. There's some spoilery stuff I'll sit on but one shot in particular was really something for how much it says about how he uses film to distance himself from his pain rather than confront it. It kind of took my breath away, it's so quick and devastating. He never portrays himself as a tortured artist, though, it's more mature than that.

    The second half is overall stronger than the first. Above all else, it has an absolute banger ending where David Lynch steps in to help recreate one of the most iconic moments of the Spielberg mythology, and an INCREDIBLE final shot playfully and touchingly acknowledging what Spielberg has never forgotten from that meeting. The hallowed director is still the kid fumbling to understand his parents as people, to live up to what the legends before him did, and it's moving to see him admit that in such an elegant and funny way. I'm glad it seems we will be getting more from him after this, but the last shot of this film would be a pretty amazing capstone to his career.

  4. #24
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    What's the realistic nomination tally it can get?

  5. #25
    Middle Bro android's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternal View Post
    What's the realistic nomination tally it can get?
    Picture
    Director
    Actress
    Sup Actor x2
    Screenplay
    Cinematography
    Customes
    Art Direction
    Editing
    Score
    Sound


    So, 12 max? Realistically +10. Possibly the leader, depending of Everything... connecting or not to the whole AMPAS.

    If this somehow gets Make-up, watch out for a sweep lol.

    And I'm not as high as some of you on Dano.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by android View Post
    Picture
    Director
    Actress
    Sup Actor x2
    Screenplay
    Cinematography
    Customes
    Art Direction
    Editing
    Score
    Sound


    So, 12 max? Realistically +10. Possibly the leader, depending of Everything... connecting or not to the whole AMPAS.

    If this somehow gets Make-up, watch out for a sweep lol.

    And I'm not as high as some of you on Dano.
    Seems it could have the biggest sweep for a BP winner since Slumdog.

  7. #27
    Senior Member afilmcionado's Avatar
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    Kushner fans, rejoice: this is the most Kushnerian film among his collaborations with Spielberg yet. In the many dialogue scenes, you can hear a pin drop in a theatre. This movie may be a lot of things, but it works best for me as a dramaturgical exercise, of testing rounded characters in challenging situations. It’s superbly written as that.

    Blindfold Spielberg and he will still put the camera at the right place. Because of this instinct alone, I’m convinced that, with his amount of experience nowadays, he cannot make a bad movie anymore. Scene after scene in The Fabelmans is just him waving his camera wizardry around.

    If you like this style of acting, WMW is excellent. I don’t think the film is “important” enough to win BP (or even big enough to win BD), but we’ll see.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by afilmcionado View Post
    Kushner fans, rejoice: this is the most Kushnerian film among his collaborations with Spielberg yet. In the many dialogue scenes, you can hear a pin drop in a theatre. This movie may be a lot of things, but it works best for me as a dramaturgical exercise, of testing rounded characters in challenging situations. It’s superbly written as that.

    Blindfold Spielberg and he will still put the camera at the right place. Because of this instinct alone, I’m convinced that, with his amount of experience nowadays, he cannot make a bad movie anymore. Scene after scene in The Fabelmans is just him waving his camera wizardry around.

    If you like this style of acting, WMW is excellent. I don’t think the film is “important” enough to win BP (or even big enough to win BD), but we’ll see.
    Everything about this bodes well.

    The Kushner brilliance. The Michelle Williams brilliance. Let me have this film already.



  9. #29
    Noli Me Tangere lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afilmcionado View Post
    Because of this instinct alone, I’m convinced that, with his amount of experience nowadays, he cannot make a bad movie anymore.
    Not sure what you mean by "nowadays", but Ready Player One was pretty bad.
    The Holy Trinity:
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  10. #30
    Senior Member afilmcionado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
    Not sure what you mean by "nowadays", but Ready Player One was pretty bad.
    I am a diehard Ready Player One apologist! If anything, The BFG is testing it.

  11. #31
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    This was cute, but not spectacular. Michelle Williams gives an endearing performance but got too repetitive. Paul Dano was good. Judd Hirsch had a fun short scene but I'm confused why he has any oscar buzz. It wasn't that special of a monologue. Overall, it was cool to see Spielbergs upbringing but films like Cinema Paradiso had something special to it.

  12. #32
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    God this movie is funny. I didn't think it would be, but it made me laugh and I'm glad I got to see it with an audience that was responsive and as into it as I was. Loved Paul Dano and Michelle Williams was fantastic. Hope we see Gabriel LaBelle in more things because he keeps this movie tied down to Earth effortlessly. His final scene with Seth Rogen was fantastic.

    I was talking to someone the other day and they brought up Spielberg and how this movie was just another example of his obsession with nostalgia, which is probably why the prom scene is kind of the stand out moment for me. Loved all the scenes where Sammy actually directing and filming and putting together his movies, all the scenes with his sisters, and that flash of Sammy imagining himself filming his family's pain towards the end of the film was so good.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Heroesrule99's Avatar
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    Was liking this until the bulk of the high school/California section. Great final scene.

    Kushner should lose again, sorry. Definitely the weakest link

  14. #34
    Senior Member JPN13's Avatar
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    A fascinating film that demonstrates cinema’s capacity to manipulate. Though movies also get at truth through this manipulation. Artifice doesn’t mean everything is fake.

    The Fabelmans shows the tools filmmakers use to interpolate reality and create fiction. The artificiality of movies is right there when young Sammy makes his war picture – we see his extras running behind the camera to reposition further into the shot, creating the illusion of more bodies than there are. Simple tricks to elicit a (bigger) reaction from the audience.

    In some of The Fabelmans’ best sequences, editing is the focus. Cinema has the capacity to re-arrange events in a way to give them meaning. Sammy is editing vacation footage. Some of the scenes seem to show something between his mom and Uncle Bennie. In isolation, none of the shots/actions are incriminating. Cut together, and the meaning changes. Something nefarious, Sammy fears. The Kuleshov effect.

    Spielberg intercuts Sammy splicing his film with his mom, Mitzi, playing Bach on the piano. His dad, Burt, is listening, awestruck. The camera swerves around Mitzi, while, in Sammy’s room, it’s getting tighter as something dawns on Sammy. All the elements people love about movies – acting, music, editing, camera movement, lighting – wordlessly conveying art’s power to inspire and destroy. A sequence about cinematic construction as Sammy himself builds the movie that will serve as his Rosebud. Take that for people who would accuse this of being nothing more than superficial schmaltz!

    The film is attuned to how the art part of making movies requires you to dump some of yourself into them. Like when Sammy is talking to the lead of his amateur war movie. He needs the non-actor to actually act and look distraught. Sammy flails about trying to explain it with words, but then taps into his own sadness instead. He keeps talking, brings himself to tears, and then his young star starts crying, too. Sammy, using real emotions to help create “fake” ones on screen.

    But it’s not so easy to control real emotions. In real life, your emotions are a runaway train. The actor winds up being so immersed in his role that he keeps walking long after Sammy calls cut. Luckily, movies aren’t real life. In movies, you don’t need to use that exposed nerve emotion. Sammy cuts the shot off with a title card and fade to black.

    It's not the last time Sammy will use film to manipulate a bigger, handsome kid as his lead. Later on, Sammy makes his high school’s ditch day movie. Here, The Fabelmans again demonstrates the concept of cinematic technique bending reality. Sammy's choice of shots can isolate Chad to make him look like a loser. Subtle framing and some slow motion can make Logan a golden God. Even if we know, in truth, he is an asshole bully. It’s clear this is all trickery, because it happens in a film where we know how Sammy created the fake bird poop shots – cheap special effects and a cut. Movies are the dream version of reality. They can turn a nightmare into something less scary.

    There are moments where The Fabelmans gets too didactic. It makes no attempt to hide its surface level themes. Art versus science as a possible irreconcilable conflict, as represented by Sammy’s parents. Though the film also doesn’t pretend otherwise. It sacrifices subtlety in favour of clarity. The Fabelmans opens with a fantastic long take composition that echoes this dichotomy before panning up to a movie marquee. One wonders, is Spielberg’s interest in film, subconsciously, that it’s an art form that doesn’t put art and science in opposition, but finds them in unity? Is that why certain people – those who are both left brained and right brained – love cinema so much? It satisfies both parts of their mind. With this film, Spielberg is able to celebrate the virtues and flaws of both his parents. Both as people and in its subtler themes. Touching that he’s doing it in the medium that needs both of them, suggesting that there’s a place where they can coexist.

    Some of the narrative echoes make up for the clunkier bits. The film introduces Paul Dano’s Burt (aside: titanically good performance, holy shit) explaining that cinema is nothing more than a series of still photographs. In the end, he will hold a still photograph that shows Mitzy happy with Uncle Bennie. At that moment, he decides to let Sammy pursue his dreams. But what is it about the photo that so upset him? Afterall, he already knew about Mitzy and Bennie. It could be that Mitzy and Bennie are not the focus of the photo. They’re at the edge of the frame. Presaging an amazing line, if Mitzy and Bennie were in the middle, it wouldn’t be interesting. If they were posing for the camera, there’d be a level of performance and artifice. They don’t know they’re on camera, so what Burt sees strikes him as unfiltered reality. That’s the paradox: a camera can both reveal and manipulate.

    There are two shots in the end stretch of the film that are transcendent. The first is when Sammy’s parents tell the kids they’re getting divorced. Sammy’s sisters are apoplectic. Sammy sits apart, on the stairs, watching it play out. He looks up, and sees himself in the mirror, holding a camera, filming the scene. He’s dissociating from life by thinking about how he’d make it into a movie. He’s seeing himself making the movie that we’re now watching. It’s a blink and you miss surreal, post-modern narrative loop from a filmmaker who’s almost always been literal and linear

    Then, in the last scene, Sammy comes face to face with John Ford (God tier cameo by David Lynch). Another echo, since we first meet teen Sammy watching Liberty Valance. Ford gives Sammy advice about the horizon line and its relationship to art. It’s what will no doubt become The Fabelmans’ signature dialogue. Hilarious then to think that Ford’s advice about art is mere technical advice – put your camera here. Art and science, intractable from each other in cinema. Sammy walks off, joyous. The camera sloppily reframes itself to fulfill John Ford’s advice about the horizon. An absolutely perfect last shot, bringing things full circle. This isn’t Spielberg’s life story, per se. It’s the version of it he thinks is interesting. As John Ford taught us (and Spielberg), when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

    Quote Originally Posted by wwgof12 View Post
    God this movie is funny. I didn't think it would be, but it made me laugh and I'm glad I got to see it with an audience that was responsive and as into it as I was. Loved Paul Dano and Michelle Williams was fantastic. Hope we see Gabriel LaBelle in more things because he keeps this movie tied down to Earth effortlessly. His final scene with Seth Rogen was fantastic.

    I was talking to someone the other day and they brought up Spielberg and how this movie was just another example of his obsession with nostalgia, which is probably why the prom scene is kind of the stand out moment for me. Loved all the scenes where Sammy actually directing and filming and putting together his movies, all the scenes with his sisters, and that flash of Sammy imagining himself filming his family's pain towards the end of the film was so good.
    Yes! My jaw hit the floor at that shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroesrule99 View Post
    Was liking this until the bulk of the high school/California section. Great final scene.

    Kushner should lose again, sorry. Definitely the weakest link
    That's really interesting, I thought the California stuff (other than the scene with Sammy and his mom when they pull over on the road) was all incredible.

  15. #35
    It's time we cut out the cancer Sara Allorn's Avatar
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    living for another Paul Dano rave (never thought i'd say that!!)

  16. #36
    Senior Member JPN13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara Allorn View Post
    living for another Paul Dano rave (never thought i'd say that!!)
    Especially after his awful performance in The Batman! Which I don't blame him for.

    In this film, he is also getting to benefit from a contrast with Michelle. Each of them is using an acting style that befits their character, and so Dano's more muted approach seems even better. Michelle didn't work as well for me. Though, in her defence, she is playing a character that's always putting on a show. So some of the choices fit the character even if they are annoying, and she's pretty amazing in those few instances where she drops the artifice (watching Sammy's movie, in particular).

    Overall, great cast. Labelle is also really good, Chloe East is hilarious. And Spielberg reminds us he is likely the all-time GOAT at directing children. Lynch is incredible and, if his scene was as long as Hirsch's, he would be getting the supporting push!

  17. #37
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    @JPN13 you are one of my favorite writers here on AW! Seriously.

    I can't wait to watch this masterpiece.


  18. #38
    Senior Member JPN13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeByYourNamaste View Post
    @JPN13 you are one of my favorite writers here on AW! Seriously.

    I can't wait to watch this masterpiece.


    Likewise. So many good writers here who have taught me so much over the years, I just try to contribute what I can (can't name names for fear of leaving people out).

  19. #39
    Old So and So average joe's Avatar
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    I really wanted to, and expected to love this more than I did. The main reason I didn’t think this was more than a solid entry into Spielberg’s impressive filmography as I walked out of the theater was that many times there was a lot of telling rather than showing, which is ironic coming from a master visual storyteller delivering a personal vision. Definitely a lot of moments of monologues that felt a bit heavy handed.

    The movie soars during the filmmaking scenes when it explores cinema’s power to manipulate and also reveal underlying truth, which JPN13 already wrote about so eloquently. Sam editing the family camping footage will remain one of the best sequences of the year for me. It’s also quite poignant when he communicates to his mother with images when he fails to use words. And the last sequence with Lynch as John Ford was such fun; cinephile catnip.

    Also, I thought Michelle William’s performance here was forced at times and actually preferred Paul Dano, who was a great, warm presence

    Now excuse me while I go listen to John Williams’ score and try to figure out how much of the music in the film was pre-existing classical pieces so I can decide whether I want to nominate him or not

  20. #40
    A Fun Lovin' Water Spirit Named Trish Libs's Avatar
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    The Fabelmans, while not Spielberg’s best or flashiest film, may be his most soulful. The film is a compassionate, warm, and funny look into his life as a teen wanting to make movies while his family structure is collapsing. It’s clear that he has deep love for his complicated parents, played wonderfully here by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, but also is not afraid to show their flaws warts and all. Williams in particular has a tricky role that might be overplayed or too much by less natural actresses. Gabriel LaBelle is flat out terrific and I imagine gave Spielberg some serious deja vu while directing him.

    I loved all the scenes of Sammy actually directing. The war scenes in particular just made me think of how this Jewish boy in Arizona would once direct two different WWII epics himself.

    Its long running time and lackadaisical pacing aren’t always to the film’s benefit but when it’s funny (the character of “come to Jesus!” Monica was such a scream), full of wonder (that closing shot!), or sentimental (numerous family scenes), the film really hits.

    A-

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