The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg’s “biopic” will win best picture


   Schindler’s List. Saving Private Ryan. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Jurassic Park. ET. These are all famous movies that many people, not just movie aficionados, have seen. What do all of these movies have in common? They were all directed by Sammy Fabelman, better known as Steven Spielberg. However, Spielberg has never gone by the name “Sammy” in his life. Let me explain.

   The Fabelmans is about a family that has the last name “Fabelman” in the post World War II era. The family consists of Mitzi, Burt, Natalie, Reggie, Lisa, and our main character, Sammy. The movie starts out by showing Mitzi and Burt, the children’s parents, taking Sammy out for his first movie. During the movie, Sammy sees a car get run over by a train. This scene intrigues Sammy, and he starts to get into trains as a hobby, or so his family thought. His father buys him a model train set. The first time Sammy played with the trains, he put a car in front of the train to make it look like the movie. He broke the train. As Sammy’s dad was working on fixing the trains, his mother realized that he was interested in trains because of the movie. She finds an old camera, and she and Sammy recorded the next time he crashed the train. This event may seem insignificant, but this changes everything for Sammy.

   The Fabelmans follows Sammy making movies as he continues getting older. He goes from making movies on his little camera to making movies with more expensive ones. He upgraded his movie setup and bought an editing machine. 

   This movie also shows a family being driven apart. About forty-five minutes into the film, Mitzi’s mother dies. This causes Mitzi to go into a mental breakdown, and for the remainder of the movie, it is clear that her mental health isn’t what it used to be. This causes her to take comfort in Burt’s friend, Bennie. The way that the two act in the movie makes you question whether or not Mitzi is cheating on Burt. If I say too much, I will reveal too much.

   This film also captures a lot of the anti-Semitism that was going on during this time in history. Sammy often came home from school with a bloody nose and a black eye because racist kids in the school would beat him up for being Jewish. These are more of the heartbreaking scenes in the movie, which makes me appreciate the comedic relief that much more. 

   To get back to why I called Spielberg “Sammy,” this movie is actually a “biopic” about Spielberg’s early life. I have the word “biopic” in quotation marks because while this is based on Spielberg’s life, he uses different names for everyone. Sammy is Steven, Burt is Arnold, and Mitzi is Leah. 

   There is nothing in this movie that I didn’t like. The story was very interesting to me. I have always wanted to learn more about Spielberg. I grew up with his movies. I remember one of my first experiences with movies was going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in theaters because there was an anniversary of the movie and it was being rereleased in theaters. I’m sure it was like that for a lot of us. Like Sammy watching that movie in the theater being awed by the train, I, as well as many other people, were that kid when we saw Indiana Jones and his dad find the cup of Christ, or ET and Elliot forming an unlikely friendship, or dinosaurs finally come to life. 

   This is why The Fabelmans will win Best Picture this year. The way that this film captures what it’s like to watch a movie for the first time is unreal. I felt everything that Sammy was feeling when he watched the movie in the theater. This is something that everyone can relate to. It can especially relate to actors, directors, producers, and anyone working in the film industry. They will all go watch The Fabelmans and relate to it more than any of the other nominees for Best Picture. They may go see Everything Everywhere All At Once or Top Gun: Maverick and get the feeling of awe that Sammy felt, but that feeling isn’t present in Everything Everywhere All At Once or any of the best picture nominees. They may feel it, because they are incredible movies, but The Fabelmans actually portrays that feeling and you can see it. 

   The Fabelmans is available on most major digital platforms, and the physical release is available at most major retailers.