Robert’s review published on Letterboxd:
While this is Steven Spielberg's most personal story to date, make no mistake about it, this is Michelle Williams movie. Williams commands the screen in boisterous ways (like dancing on a camping trip) but I was more impressed with the subtlety of smile differences depending on which person she was next to.
Williams appears to be on the point of breaking for most of the runtime and only a supremely talented actor can make it so real. I crowned Cate Blanchett just a few weeks ago for her work in Tar, but my goodness does Williams give an Oscar winning performance here.
Gabriel LaBelle is wonderful. Paul Dano can be a creepy psychopath dueling wits with the Batman and in the same year play an understated father figure to the most important director in film history. Bravo.
I had the ever so slightest hesitation that Spielberg would overindulge us on his love of cinema as a child. There are touches here and there, but it's perfect. Of course it is. This is Steven Spielberg.
This isn't Spielberg's best movie. This isn't the best movie this year. But if this wins Best Picture, it will bring a smile to everyone's face.
How special was the final scene? The cherry on top of this geniuses career, let's have his best final shot of the 35 movies. Great job Steve. Lovely film.