A coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret and an exploration of the power of movies to help us see the truth about each other and ourselves.
Runtime: 151 minutes
Stars: Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Julia Butters, Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East, Gabriel Bateman, Art Bonilla, Jonathan Hadary, Sam Rechner, Isabelle Kusman, Keeley Karsten, Sophia Kopera, Greg Grunberg, James Urbaniak, Lane Factor, Meredith VanCuyk
Director: Steven Spielberg
miker-40119 - 13 January 2023 One of the best movies of the year This is such a broadly entertaining film that even though It can veer into sentimentality at times early on, it's easy to see how personal this was for Spielberg. It's an honesty portrayal of his family life and clearly shows how much movies captivated him from a young age. The film is tender, funny and deeply human. It's filled with great performances that I especially loved from Paul Dano and Gabriel LaBelle. Spielberg is a true master and this fine film stacks up with his best. Definitely one of the best movies of the year already and one of the best that I've seen in a long time in general.
patelnilay-61270 - 10 January 2023 A really "interesting" movie that gives you a perspective in spielberg's own life I'll be honest, this is not exactly a review but my own personal experience with the movie. The movie is about spielberg's motivation about making the movies & simultaneously a portrail of his family's disintegration. For what it's worth, the movie is well made with descent acting for the most part. Especially the father's character is the stand out. Maybe we are not supposed to dissect the plot too much, but the movie is supposed to be about spielberg afterall! The whole point is to find the motivation behind speilberg's obsession with making movies. (At least I didn't know) Apparantly it's because he always saw movie making as a coping mechanism from the horrors of his own life! So here are my observations:
The movie depicts how unstable the family is right from the beginning. We have the father's bestfriend character who is very close to the family, and especially the mother. Everyone is almost oblivious of this fact other than the grandma. Then the tragedy stucks (grandma's death) and the mother's character almost descends to madness. She literally drives a car into a tornado with her kids inside. Her escape from all of this? Infidelity. When the father gets a new opportunity in a different state, they all move together including the "friend" of the father. When the son (spielberg) figures out what is going on because of what he ended up recording on his tape, he confronts the mother. The mother does show signs to make things right & the family again moves to a different state because of the father's new job opportunity. Now the mother didn't want to leave the friend behind (because the obvious reasons) But they agree to move once the mother finds out that their son knows what's going on. Now it's interpreted in the movie that the mother never actually loved the father or have fallen out of love ever since & now loves the friend character instead. And what's baffeling is that she's apparently going crazy: she tries getting into therapy but it doesn't work. She gets a monkey & names it after the character she was cheating with. The family eventually splits up & mother takes all the children exept steven with her. While steven is left with the father. There are so many problems here like how everything gets sorted out ones she goes back to the character she was cheating with!
There's so much wrong with this plot, especially how a character who is unfaithful (for whatsoever reason) gets away with it. The movie has a problematic line: You don't owe your life to anyone. Yes you do. To your family. And this perticular statement comes into a bad light with the infidelity: the mother decided to be with someone else while still being married because she thought that it's okay as long as it's what your heart wants.
Now my most interesting observation after watching the movie. This is something I didn't know about spielberg before watching this movie. (This information is not given in the movie itself): he had an affair with future wife Kate Capshaw while still being married to his first wife. Infidelity ruins families, he knew from his own experience but he did it anyways in real life! Maybe he feels guilty (I hope as a fan of his movies) And maybe this movie is supposed to show that truth to his audience.
But, the movie ends with a credit "For Leah". That certainly was baffeling to me. His father deserves recognition for trying to save his family, not the mother who was unfaithful (while she was still married & not divorced). Maybe the point of the movie was to make us dislike the mother's character. Because I certainly did.
PS - I lowered my score for the movie after learning about speilberg's own afffairs & I'm gonna be unapologetic about it.