The Fabelmans: A box office bomb turns into seven-time Academy Award nominee

19 March 2023 / by Nicole. Soroka
The Fabelmans
The Fabelmans: A box office bomb turns into seven-time Academy Award nominee
Steven Spielberg is back with his latest film that explores the life of a young dreamer who struggles growing up in his flawed family

This semi-autobiographical film takes viewers through a window into the early life and career of the film’s director, writer and producer, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg originally cultivated the idea for this film in 1999, but decided to delay its release to protect his parents from the sensitive information about their family being public.

Canadian born Gabriel LaBelle stars in his biggest role to date alongside Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogan and Julia Butters. 

This coming of age film focuses on the life of Sammy Fabelman, where his love for movies helps himSammy to realize the unspoken turmoil within his family. After viewing Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Greatest Show on Earth, young Sammy falls in love with filmmaking. When he receives his first model train, Sammy begins to shoot movies with his new set and his father’s 8mm camera. While Sammy’s mother, Mitzi, is a free-spirited woman who allows Sammy to indulge in his love for the cinema, his father, Burt, is far more concerned about Sammy’s future outside of what he sees as his filmmaking hobby. A few years later, the Fabelmans are uprooted and Arizona bound when Burt receives a new job offer, bringing his best friend, Bennie, along for the move at Mitzi’s request. Sammy’s love and interest in filmmaking continues to grow over the years, slowly progressing his directorial skills through his films with his siblings and boy scouts. However, as Sammy enters his teenage years, he slowly begins to realize that his family life is not so perfect as it appeared to be to his childhood self. With the Fabelmans family in a dark place, even Sammy’s films begin to cause turbulence within his home life. 

In my opinion, The Fabelmans is a visually pleasing film with the graphics and filmmaking scenes adding something special to its overall value. While the film is beyond intricate, the movie tends to become confusing at times with the time jumps and viewers need to keep up with multiple storylines at once. It has With a running time of two and a half hours, The Fabelmans felt slightly dragged out towards the end of the film and I thought that some of the details that were included in the movie could have been condensed. That being said, as someone who loves movies and going to the theatre, I found that The Fabelmans provided a unique viewing experience as I had never seen a film that explored a character’s love for movies, and the impact that they had on their life, at such great lengths. I found this film to be unique and it is one that I would recommend to anyone who shares a love for films and is looking for a must watch drama. 

The Fabelmans first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022, with the film opening in theatres on November 23 later that year. To some people’s surprise, The Fabelmans underperformed at the box office, bringing in $35 million dollars for the film that was produced on a $40 million dollar budget. However, the box office bomb turned seven-time Academy Award nominee, up for categories such as Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score. Additionally, the film brought home the People’s Choice Award at TIFF and earned star Gabriel LaBelle the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer. So, if you are a Steven Spielberg lover, or are simply looking for a drama that pulls at the heart strings while telling the story of a young dreamer, The Fabelmans is a great choice for you. 

You can rent or buy The Fabelmans on Apple TV, Google Play or Amazon Prime Video today.