‘The Fabelmans’ TIFF Review: Steven Spielberg’s Bittersweet Ode to the Magic of Movies

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Over his long and incredibly prolific career, Steven Spielberg shows yet another side to his own filmmaking that only reaffirms his status as one of the greatest working American filmmakers. To a filmmaker like Steven Spielberg, merely watching the movies alone isn’t a magical experience, but the building blocks for making them are just as magical – and have shaped an entire world for him. But the greatest thrill about watching Spielberg taking his audience to his own childhood is that for those of us who have been watching his films for so long, he’s showing us where everything we loved about his works has come about, in a work that’s clearly an extension of himself in The Fabelmans.

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Jaime’s Film Diary: March 15, 2020

As expected, I’ve been keeping my Letterboxd up to date – so here’s yet another update for here in regards to what I have been watching as of late.

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Wendy and Lucy is One of the Most Shattering Films of Last Decade

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Kelly Reichardt is one of the most understated American filmmakers working today, but she is also one of the very best. There’s always something more beautiful within the quietness of her movies that ends up making them so much bigger than what they look like – and that brings me to Wendy and Lucy. Right here is the sort of movie that doesn’t need more than what it already has to show how life is as hard as it is, because of how much it draws from the experience of the title characters – struggling to even find themselves living a lifestyle that can support either of them, it works almost like an Italian neorealist picture would. It feels almost like a perfect reminder that sometimes quietness is what speaks more than enough about the state of one’s life, and what Kelly Reichardt manages to achieve in Wendy and Lucy is a film that builds itself around Wendy’s own ambition while recognizing her limits and thus comes by one of the most heartbreaking films of the 21st century, maybe even Reichardt’s masterpiece.

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All the Money in the World – Review

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Shortly before the release date of All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott made the abrupt decision to reshoot every scene involving Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of J. Paul Getty with Christopher Plummer recast in the role instead after many sexual assault allegations have been levelled against Spacey. But even if Kevin Spacey hadn’t already been a sexual predator beforehand, the decision to cast him – a 58-year-old man under heavy old man makeup in order to play an 80-year-old J. Paul Getty never made sense. So how exactly does Ridley Scott manage to make All the Money in the World work the way it did? It’s still something I’m wondering but the rate at which Ridley Scott is continuously working is among many things that I’ve always admired about the filmmaker.

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Blue Valentine – Review

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I’ve seen Blue Valentine only two times in my life but I don’t suppose it’s the sort of film I’d really rush to revisit, resulting in this review coming straight from memory. Nevertheless it still remains what I believe to be Derek Cianfrance at his best, and so far, the only one that seems to have done anything much for me. Though I’ve been indifferent towards The Place Beyond the Pines and The Light Between Oceans, Blue Valentine is as close as I’ve gotten to finding something absolutely wonderful arising from him. Yet for the strong dedication I find inside of the craft I’ve always struggled finding compulsion to revisit it and none of it has anything to do with the film being bad at all, but because the film’s subject matter and how it has been approached always had been so troubling for myself. Nevertheless I’d imagine that was the intent and for what it is, it was a triumph.

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Manchester by the Sea – Review

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There are three stories that I wish to share with each and every one of you as you read what I want to express after watching Manchester by the Sea. At only three feature films, Kenneth Lonergan has been able to create nothing but the most intimate portraits of flawed humans to have graced the screen within the 21st century and only this decade he has achieved the most power such seemingly simple studies of character could elicit – thus showing something only a director and screenwriter like Lonergan could have evoked within such a manner. And without further ado, said anecdotes will follow along as promised, in the order of chronological occurrence. While it may not be unfamiliar to see similar reactions coming out from Manchester by the Sea, there’s a shared gathering of emotion that I would nonetheless be happy to add to.

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Certain Women – Review

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Kelly Reichardt’s anthology drama Certain Women is a quiet film, like many of her other films, but they were never boring even at their worst. Although Reichardt has yet to blow me away, I’ve always seen fragments of excellence arising all throughout her body of work (Wendy and Lucy stands out from the bunch that I’ve seen as the best), all of which were enough to keep me wanting more. Adding more to this streak is Certain Women, an anthology about the lives of ordinary people residing in Montana, immersed within quietness and within no time, forming a connection that almost brought me back to the work of Chantal Akerman. If Reichardt continues on with this streak, then I can only see her work growing better over time.

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