Get Audio+
Scan to download the app


“The Fabelmans”: The Kaleidoscope of Dreams

today9 February 2023


A semi-memoir by the renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg about his early life, The Fabelmans spin the tale of a young boy who draws inspirations from his family and immortalises them into his films. 

While this film is a fictionalised biography, it does reflect Spielberg’s nostalgic childhood. Much like Spielberg himself, Sammy Fabelman was born after the war into a Jewish family, where his mother is a pianist and his father is an electrical engineer. They both have three sisters, and suffered from anti-Semitism. 

And most of all, they both love making films. 

Image via Universal Pictures

The movie seamlessly stitches together the black, white and grey areas of people – even the ones we love. Especially the ones we love. 

Sammy’s struggles with his complicated mother – his love and resentment for her – is being laid out for the audience to dissect in such a complex, delicate and relatable way. It makes you realise that no one is perfect, and even when your finger is itching to point the blame at someone, perhaps everything is just what it is and that things happen for a reason. 

Spielberg works his magic once again as he unspools family ties in heartwarming, yet poignant frames. The movie would not be as beautiful as it is without the gorgeous portrayal of Sammy Fabelman by Gabriel LaBelle, who changed the way he walked, talked and moved in order to resemble young Spielberg as closely as possible. 


Image via Universal Pictures

Michelle Williams also stuns as Mitzi Fabelman, Sammy’s complex, childlike mother who relentlessly encourages him to pursue his dream. Paul Dano, on the other hand, carries the film with his nuanced performance as the Fabelman patriarch. He worships his wife, is smart and kind and practical, but all to a fault. 

This film portrays dreams like a kaleidoscope; everyone has dreams in their own colours, and each one leads to different outcomes and consequences. At the end of the day, it’s not about being selfish in chasing one’s dreams – it’s about learning to understand one another better. 

*Cover image via Universal Pictures

Written by: Farah Qistina

Previous post