'Catch Me If You Can' might not be the best Steven Spielberg film (although it's up there), but one could definitely make the argument that 'Catch Me If You Can' is the most Steven Spielberg film. It's got everything: Daddy issues, framing devices, damaged childhoods, the jaunty cinematography of Janusz Kaminksi, a parade of attractive but largely unknown brunettes with foreign accents of various origins, etc ... all wrapped up in the irresistible veneer of grand entertainment. The wide-eyed discovery of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' the nimble solemnity of 'Schindler's List,' and the gleefully kinetic pursuit of 'Minority Report' -- this flick has it all. 'Catch Me If You Can' isn't just a Spielberg movie, it's every Spielberg movie.
When he was just 16 years old, Frank Abagnale Jr. ran away from his breaking Rochester home to become one of the country's most successful and elusive paper hangers, assuming any number of different identities in the hopes that the inertia of constantly adopting new lives might spare him from ever coming to grips with his own. Abagnale gave himself dozens of different personas before he was finally apprehended, but he'll best be remembered as Spielberg's ultimate proxy.