The Fabelmans, the new semi-autobiographical film from Steven Spielberg, tells the acclaimed director’s own story, which he has said he “never had the courage” to do before, but is happy to have done so now.
The multi award-winning director said that despite exploring the narrative “in parts and parcels” over the course of his extensive career, he had been "hiding" from the full tale ever since he was a teenager.
Spielberg was named best director at the 80th Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday (10 January) night for the film, which stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Gabriel LaBelle. It later went on to also scoop one of the evening’s top prizes: best motion picture, drama.
Success at the Golden Globes often predicts victories at the prestigious Oscars awards just a couple of months later, and buzz around the film is at a high. So just when can UK audiences see the film in cinemas for themselves? Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is The Fabelmans?
The Fabelmans tells the story of aspiring filmmaker Sammy Fabelman, 16, and features Michelle Williams as his mother Mitzi and Paul Dano as his father Burt.
The film documents Spielberg’s early years, with an official synopsis describing it as 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”.
In September 2022, the film won the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) top prize, the People’s Choice Award, solidifying its early status as Academy Awards frontrunner. For each of the last 10 years, the TIFF winner has gone on to be nominated for best picture at the Oscars — and often won it.
The film has been critically praised ever since, and currently holds and impressive 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which descibes the film as “part memoir, part ode to the power of the movies.”
“The Fabelmans finds Steven Spielberg digging at the family roots that helped make him a beloved filmmaker,” adds the review aggregation site, “and proves he hasn't lost his magic touch.”
What has Spielberg said about the film?
Accepting the award for best director, Spielberg said: “I’ve been hiding from this story since I was 17-years-old. I put a lot of things in my way with this story. I told this story in parts and parcels all through my career but I never had the courage to hit the story head-on.”
He continued: “The fact that everybody sees me as a success story, and everybody sees all of us the way they perceive us – based on how they get the information…
“But nobody really knows who we are until we’re courageous enough to tell everyone of who we are, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out when I could tell that story.
“I figured out when I was about 74-years-old, I said: ‘You better do it now’. So I’m really, really happy I did. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press for this honour.”
When is it released in the UK?
The Fabelmans is currently scheduled to release in UK cinemas on Friday 27 January 2022.
According to the Film Distributors Association, the film is set to be a major release, and will be shown in over 300 locations around the UK.
That means that most cinemas will be screening it, from blockbuster, multiplex chains, to smaller, more independent cinemas. Check local listings for film times at your favourite nearby cinema.
At the time of writing, there have been no officially announced plans to bring the film to streaming services.