A semi-autobiographical tale from a master filmmaker could easily ooze self-indulgence, but Steven Spielberg’s latest Academy Award Best Picture nominee, The Fabelmans, isn’t intemperate. In reality, it’s purposefully sparing because the camera zooms in on Spielberg stand-in Sammy Fabelman’s coming-of-age journey, an enchanted childhood complicated by his mother and father’s marital strife.
We see Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and Burt (Paul Dano) through his eyes, sometimes literally, as they share with him their divergent perspectives: Burt is warm but pragmatic, while Mitzi—a dreamer—is luminous but elusive. As Sammy, young actor Gabriel LaBelle is an uncanny match for Spielberg, stuffed with gentle charisma and ambitions so earnest they’re almost painful to witness. As Sammy’s family moves from one state to a different, and he contends with overzealous girlfriends and faculty bullies, his most trusted companion is his own camera, through which he can shape the world as he understands it best.
The resulting film is a Best Director nominee’s beautiful homage to cinema, but greater than that it’s a genuinely moving story of resilience, empathy, and storytelling as healing. To grasp the hype best, you’ll want to look at The Fabelmans in theaters. But when the couch is inconceivable to withstand, you will have a number of options for the right way to watch The Fabelmans online. They include:
It’s possible that, because of Universal Pictures’ take care of Peacock, the film can even be streaming on the platform in the long run.
Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Watch on Apple TV
Watch on YouTube
Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture author at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE.