The Fabelmans is a highly acclaimed film of 2022. I just saw it as number one on the list of best movies of 2022 in Time Magazine. Of course, it’s by Stephen Spielberg, so you can’t go wrong. After the trailers and teasers, I expected it to be a movie about a young boy who wants to become a filmmaker and succeeds. Wild guess, right? That’s what happened to Spielberg. I expected it to be somewhat autobiographical, since many of Spielberg’s movies have such touches.
But it really isn’t about a boy so much as it iss about a young Jewish family in Arizona and then California, living in the sixties in the early tech world. Elements of ostracism of Jews in Anglo-American society permeate the story. But the most surprising plot twist is completely unexpected and has little to do with filmmaking. It has to do with family dynamics in a complex social environment. It’s a story about the trials of modern life in a competitive society, and how the career of one can challenge or even ruin the lives of others.
The most memorable scene is the closing one, where “the most famous filmmakers of all time” gives the boy advice:
“Horizon low, interesting. horizon high, interesting, horizon in the middle, boring as hell. Now get the fuck out of my office.”