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Our first review on “Admit One” is the Fabelmans movie review. In The Fabelmans, the latest release from Stephen Spielberg, we see the brutal train crash from classic film The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) through the eyes of Sammy, a seven-year-old attending the movie’s release with his parents (Paul Dano and Michelle Williams). Throughout the film, they glance continually at Sammy, showing their regret exposing him to such violence at a young age. After, a clearly shocked Sammy is encouraged to externalize his trauma and process it in the form of filmmaking. One Kodak 8mm camera later, and he is set for a successful career in Hollywood.
|Release Date: 11/23/2023
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
The outcome is predetermined because Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) is a stand-in for Spielberg, who wrote The Fabelmans as a fictionalized version of his life. This attempt to mythologize events from his own upbringing focuses primarily on the process of growing to appreciate one’s parents as individuals, taking audiences on this journey over a two-and-a-half-hour runtime. The escalating emotions of adolescence propel viewers through his increasing fascination with filmmaking, which becomes not only the heart of his life – but the source of his greatest torment.
Every actor is given at least one scene to shine, and the cast take this opportunity and run with it, even Seth Rogen, who gives a fantastic performance as “Uncle Bennie”. But the stand-out performance by far was Judd Hirsch, who delivers a beautiful monologue to teenage Sammy about the pain of the artist’s soul.
It’s also funny. There’s a monkey.
While this poignant movie about trauma would make a fine family watch, it’s also one better saved for the older kids in the house.
Streaming / Watch Options
The Roku Channel
Amazon Prime Video
Google Play Movies & TV
The Fabelmans Official Trailer
About our Admit One Author
Isaac Frankel is a freelance writer and content creator specializing in reviews and analysis of cinema, interactive media, and mythological storytelling. He was raised in Prescott, AZ, wrote his first non-fiction book in 2013 after graduating from Tribeca Flashpoint College with a degree in Game & Interactive Media Design and currently produces content for the YouTube channel: Off Screen.
More of his work and current projects can be found at www.isaacafrankel.com