I had the exact same experience as the boy in this movie. It’s 1995. I’m six years old, and my parents are driving us by all the homes in the neighborhood with Christmas lights on them. I asked my parents why we didn’t put lights on our house. They said it’s because we’re Jewish.

To which I replied: “I don’t want to be Jewish!”

Anyway! Spielberg is one of the few filmmakers who: a) truly knows how to move the camera; and b) can direct kids. The Fabelmans showcases those skills to a degree I haven’t seen in a long time. Even cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, whose lighting has frankly been terrible in movies like West Side Story and Lincoln, does lovely work here.

The movie comes to life when we follow Spielberg’s surrogate learning how to make films, but it mainly focuses on the family drama and goes on for too long.

Side note: I was pleasantly surprised to see James Urbaniak (voice of Rusty Venture) and David Lynch (you’ll know it when you hear him).