peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 12 24 TheFabelmans

The Fabelmans (2022)

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Spielberg semi-autobio. It's his usual American hokum but even less gripping than usual, although he does keep you on the hook insofar as you wonder how far he's going to take things (non-spoiler: not far enough). At the two-thirds mark of this overlong thing he switches to generic high school set pieces (bullying, antisemitism, girls) that were cooked to a far tastier pitch a long time ago (e.g. The Last Picture Show, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller, etc. etc.).

I was mostly there for Michelle Williams, who is as amazing as ever, but the best part was the closing scene where David Lynch plays John Ford in a Twin Peaks-reboot mode. Paul Dano does fine as the remote Bill Gates-esque father but the character is so generic that there's nothing much there. I was thrilled to see James Urbaniak as the school principal.

Dana Stevens. Manohla Dargis.