Although “The Fabelmans” explores many real-life elements of Spielberg’s life, from his parents’ difficult divorce to when his mother spontaneously adopted a monkey, the characters’ names have been changed to reflect the film’s central conceit: if Spielberg was telling his own life story the same way he told stories like “Raiders of the Last Ark” or “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial?”
Of course, this isn’t Spielberg’s first time directing a movie based on real events. Movies like ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘The Post’ and ‘Catch Me If You Can’ all took the raw material of truth and carved it into stories using the language of film. therefore familiar territory for Spielberg. But that only makes “The Fabelmans” all the more intriguing; using what he learned from those films, the director now points the camera at himself and translates his own memories into myth. As /Film’s Chris Evangelista wrote in his review:
That’s not exactly how Spielberg’s life went; it’s the Hollywood version, and it’s appropriate. Spielberg is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. an icon. Movies are dreams, and Spielberg is a dreammaker, so it’s only fitting that his autobiography is a more Hollywood version of the truth. The result is a funny, sweet and comfortably warm film. And yet, there is a certain melancholy that hides behind everyone’s joy. Because the moral of Uncle Boris’ talk about loving making art above all else is that artists ultimately lead lonely lives.
“The Fabelmans” will have a limited theatrical release starting November 11, 2022, before expanding to wide release on November 23.