by Nathaniel R.
It’s hard to keep up in September with festival premieres, Oscar news and new trailers arriving daily. The weirdest thing about September is how forward-looking everything is. It’s not about what people have access to now (theaters start crawling out of their current wasteland on Friday), but what they might be talking about in December and January. Which makes September feel like foreplay without fun. But October is right around the corner and things are getting much faster as we move into the final quarter. Trailers always have their own kind of anticipatory fun. So today let’s talk The Fabelmans which draws praise from first responders at TIFF…
• Spielberg has always been good at ‘feeling impressed’, and it hits fast with that with the cupped hands and projected image, as well as the mother’s mix of joy and admiration at what her son has made with crashing toy trains.
• The buzz is that Michelle Williams will finally be Oscar’s bride instead of a bridesmaid. Since we don’t have the performance to judge (it’s so crazy how often people think a trailer is the be all and end all of a performance in modern film culture), let’s just say that sounds like a very appealing character, especially to movie professionals; she is a firm believer in art and in her son’s potential. Since that son will become Steven Spielberg (or thereabouts since this is an autofiction), she will be easy to support.
• Again, there’s not much to do considering this is a trailer, but Spielberg’s proxy in the lead role seems to have a good face for it. Hopefully Gabriel LaBelle delivers his debut.
• The structure of the trailer is a beautiful set up, and flowery. I loved the moment of transition “What kind of film are you going to do?” The writers aren’t writing trailers but it reminds us that Tony Kushner is on hand to make this sing (apart from the visuals which Spielberg still has control over)
• All movie shots are exciting. We came across Spileberg for this problem that many writers have of working with the same people so often that they don’t always push their own talent or, rather, find unexpected new avenues for it.
• I didn’t expect so much from Judd Hirsch and this little Seth Rogen but I’m here for the exchange!
• This first wig on Michelle: too small for her face! That’s all we got for a “no” – we had to fill in the space somehow!
• Films about movie magic can be hit or miss, or at least so enamored with their own subgenre that they think talking about magic is the same as being magical.
• “Films are dreams that we never forget” and which Edward Scissorhands like marking. It has the potential to be so overtly serious, sweet, meaningful, and emotionally gooey that it tips over into self-parody. But early reviews have been ecstatic, so maybe that’ll never happen.
• What is the richness of Paul Dano’s role in this? From a distance, it looks like a closed standard absentee father role, but will he be richer in the role he plays? Dano has won a solid showcase, don’t you think?.
ONION GLASS: A KNIFE MYSTERY
And as a digestive, here’s the teaser for GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY which is mostly just shots of the star-studded cast posing for the camera… but we’ll take it! I wasn’t so obsessed with Knives out like most moviegoers were, but Baby Clyde’s answer inspires some hope. Also, if everything has to be a franchise in this era, better be a franchise that is forced to be “original” every time through new characters.
We’re all YES to all three, but that’s how Hollywood likes to play, keeping all the juicy adult stuff first and foremost until the last three months of the year. And you?