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Starring: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Coming-of-age drama directed and co-written by Steven Spielberg. The Fabelmans (2022) centers on aspiring filmmaker Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, who discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about each other and ourselves.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Remember this. When the horizon's at the bottom, it's interesting. When the horizon's at the top, it's interesting. When the horizon's in the middle, it's boring as s**t.' - John Ford (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Younger Sammy Fabelman: [referring to the movie theater] It’ll be dark in there, you said. I don’t want to go in.
Burt Fabelman: But it’s fun. All week, you’ve been so excited. Your first ever movie.
Younger Sammy Fabelman: And the people are gigantic.
Burt Fabelman: What people?
Younger Sammy Fabelman: You said the people in the movie are gigantic.
Burt Fabelman: Oh, because of the big screen they’re on. But they’re not real, right?
Mitzi Fabelman: They’re like dreams.
Younger Sammy Fabelman: Dreams are scary.
Mitzi Fabelman: Some dreams are, but this is going to be a nice dream.
Mitzi Fabelman: [to young Sammy] Movies are dreams, doll, that you never forget. You just wait and see. When it’s over, you’re going to have the biggest, sloppiest smile on your face.
Burt Fabelman: I told you this wasn’t a good idea, what with all of his A-N-X-I-E-T-I-E-S.
Mitzi Fabelman: Kids his age have big I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N-S.
Younger Sammy Fabelman: No fair spelling out the long words.
'You can't just love something. You also have to take care of it.' - Burt Fabelman (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Mitzi Fabelman: You know what I miss most about the piano? Surrendering to the score. Knowing Bach is going to tell you how, first this note, then this chord, then you open your hand, you stretch down an octave. Making a little world you can be safe and happy in.
Mitzi Fabelman: Sammy, we’re going to use Daddy’s camera to film it. Only crash the train once, okay? Then after we get the film developed, you can watch it crash over and over until it’s not so scary anymore. And your real train will never get broken. One more thing, dolly. Let’s not tell your father. It’ll be our secret movie, just yours and mine. Okay?
Younger Sammy Fabelman: Okay.
Hadassah Fabelman: [as they’re eating dinner, referring to Mitzi] This tastes funny, Burt. It tastes funny on a plastic fork. Is she saving the silverware for when the Eisenhowers drop by?
Mitzi Fabelman: [to Bennie] I love Burt’s brain. Especially when you’re around to explain what’s in it.
Younger Natalie Fabelman: Uncle Bennie, that was so disgusting!
Hadassah Fabelman: Natalie, he is not your uncle. Also, he is not that funny.
'Movies are dreams that you never forget.' - Mitzi Fabelman (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Younger Sammy Fabelman: [as they’re driving through a tornado] Is this safe?
Mitzi Fabelman: Of course it’s safe. I’m your mother.
Mitzi Fabelman: Everything happens for a reason.
Hark: The manual says you got to tell a story with still pictures.
Sammy Fabelman: Yeah, but all a movie is is still pictures. You just put a bunch of them together and they move.
Roger: Okay, but what kind of movie are we making?
Burt Fabelman: You hear how the rising arpeggios lift up the sad notes? It’s in F minor, but your mom makes it sound so alive.
Bennie Loewy: She makes it sound like she’s playing a typewriter.
'Family, art. It'll tear you in two.' - Uncle Boris (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Burt Fabelman: It’s kind of like what I do, isn’t it, what a movie director does?
Sammy Fabelman: It is?
Burt Fabelman: I figure out what my division needs to accomplish, then I work out how my guys are going to get it done.
Sammy Fabelman: Yeah, it is. Yeah, sort of.
Sammy Fabelman: [to Burt] See, the thing is though, about my new movie, is that it’s just, it’s about World War II, your war. It’s going to be like out of this world.
Burt Fabelman: [after Sammy tells him how much an editor machine costs] Doggone it, Sammy! A hundred dollars for a hobby?
Sammy Fabelman: It’s not a hobby, Dad.
Burt Fabelman: If you spent half the time on algebra that you spend on these movies, you could get…
Sammy Fabelman: Algebra? I hate algebra. It’s completely pointless.
Burt Fabelman: Not if you want to make something, it’s not pointless.
Sammy Fabelman: I want to make movies though.
Burt Fabelman: I mean something real. Not imaginary. Something someone can actually use.
Mitzi Fabelman: Why would Mamaleh ever leave all of this for California? We have the Grand Canyon. They have the San Andreas Fault. Mamaleh says, I will never leave Arizona. And Arizona will never leave me.
'Sticking your head in the mouths of lions was balls. Making sure the lion don't eat my head, that is art.' - Uncle Boris (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Burt Fabelman: [after Burt asks him to make a camping movie] I’m asking you to do this now for your mom.
Sammy Fabelman: Yeah, and I said that I will. Just not like tomorrow.
Burt Fabelman: Don’t be selfish. She just lost her mother. That’s more important than your hobby.
Sammy Fabelman: Dad, can you stop calling it a hobby.
Burt Fabelman: It’ll cheer her up, watching this. It’s something we can do.
Sammy Fabelman: Her mom just died. How is that going to cheer her up?
Burt Fabelman: Because you made it for her. Something’s not right. I don’t know what else to do. Can you help me?
Uncle Boris: [to Sammy] Know what it’s like, huh? Pain in the a**, sisters.
Natalie Fabelman: That’s rude.
Lisa Fabelman: He said “a**”!
Sammy Fabelman: [referring to Burt] He wants me to put this camping film together so it’ll cheer up Mom.
Uncle Boris: Because her heart is broken. Because her mama iz toyt. But you, Mr. Director, you don’t want to do this, what your daddy tells you, because you want to make your war picture, huh? Yeah. Yeah. Believe me, Sammy boy, I get it. Family, art. It’ll tear you in two.
Uncle Boris: [referring to Mitzi] When she was a kid, already she played like that. She should have been a concert piano player. Little Rubinstein, she was. She could have played, you name it, she could have played there.
'Art will give you crowns in heaven and laurels on earth. But it'll tear your heart out and leave you lonely. You'll be a shanda for your loved ones. An exile in the desert. A gypsy.' - Uncle Boris (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Uncle Boris: [to Sammy, referring to Mitzi] You see, what she got in her heart is what you got, what I got. Art. Like me. Like you, I think. We’re junkies, and art is our drug. Family, we love. But art, we’re meshuga for art.
Uncle Boris: You think I wanted to leave my sisters, my mama and my papa, and go stick my stupid head in the mouth of lions?
Sammy Fabelman: Putting your head in a lion’s mouth is art?
Uncle Boris: No. Sticking your head in the mouths of lions was balls. Making sure the lion don’t eat my head, that is art.
Uncle Boris: I want you should remember how that hurt. Because when they say all this, when they say, “What you do? “Oh, that’s cute. It’s a hobby. It’s like stamps, or butterfly collecting,” you feel your face, how it feels now.
Sammy Fabelman: Yeah. You almost pulled it off.
Uncle Boris: So you remember your Uncle Boris and what he’s telling you. Because you’re going to join the circus, I can tell. You can’t hardly wait. You want to be in the big top. You’ll shovel elephant s**t until they say, “Okay, Sammy, now ride the goddamn elephant.”
Uncle Boris: Oh, you love those people, huh? Your sisters, your mama, your papa. Except this. This, I think you love a little more.
Sammy Fabelman: No, I don’t.
Uncle Boris: Yeah. Oh, hey. Run all you want, boychick, but you know I ain’t whistling Dixie here. You’ll make your movies, and you will do your art. And you’ll remember how it hurt.
Uncle Boris: [to Sammy] So you know what I’m saying? Art will give you crowns in heaven and laurels on earth. But it’ll tear your heart out and leave you lonely. You’ll be a shanda for your loved ones. An exile in the desert. A gypsy. Art is no game. Art is dangerous as a lion’s mouth. It’ll bite your head off.
'Guilt is a wasted emotion.' - Mitzi Fabelman (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Mitzi Fabelman: [to Sammy, referring to his movie] It’s so beautiful, what you made, dolly. You really see me.
Natalie Fabelman: And are you ever going to make a movie with parts for girls again?
Sammy Fabelman: What?
Natalie Fabelman: With girls, you know, like because all the men stare off into the distance all the time, maybe a girl could save the day.
Sammy Fabelman: [referring to how to save a drowning person] One is you swim behind the person so they don’t grab you. Two, you throw your arm across his chest.
Reggie Fabelman: Or her chest.
Natalie Fabelman: Not Sammy. He’s too scared of girls boobies.
'Art is no game. Art is dangerous as a lion's mouth. It'll bite your head off.' - Uncle Boris (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Sammy Fabelman: [to Natalie] And speaking of boobies, if you ever get any, we’ll have a party.
Reggie Fabelman: And at the party, we’ll give her the booby prize.
Sammy Fabelman: [to Mitzi] You laugh at everything, even when nothing’s funny. You always have to be the center of attention.
'Why did you get a monkey?' - Sammy Fabelman, 'Because I needed to laugh.' - Mitzi Fabelman (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Mitzi Fabelman: Sammy Fabelman, goddamn it! For weeks now, it has been nothing but disrespect from you!
Sammy Fabelman: Disrespect?!
Mitzi Fabelman: Why are you being such a little s**t to me?! Dammit to hell, I am your mother!
Sammy Fabelman: I wish you weren’t!
[Mitzi suddenly slaps him across the back]
Mitzi Fabelman: [after she slaps him across the back] Talk to me. Oh, Sammy, please talk to me. Tell me what’s happening. Do you have any idea how much I love you?
'Sometimes we just can't fix things and all we can do is suffer.' - Monica Sherwood (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Bennie Loewy: [to Sammy, referring to Burt moving them to California] Yeah, so I’m happy for you. You know I am. But I’m going to miss you. All of you, a lot. You think whatever bad things you want to about me, kiddo. But you stop making movies, it’ll break your mother’s heart. You will break her heart, I mean it. She doesn’t deserve that, not from anybody, least of all from you.
Sammy Fabelman: I’m still done making movies though.
Bennie Loewy: Everybody makes movies in California.
'You do what your heart says you have to, because you don't owe anyone your life.' - Mitzi Fabelman (The Fabelmans) Click To Tweet
Mitzi Fabelman: [referring to her feelings for Bennie] I’ve almost told him so many times. I’ll say, “Burt, there’s something I’ve got to tell you.” Then he looks at me like he can’t conceive that anything could be wrong between us.
Mitzi Fabelman: [to Sammy] I can’t fight with your father. He kills with such kindness.