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Steven Spielberg Responds To The Fabelman’s TIFF Win As The Oscars Race Starts To Heat Up

Paul Dano, Michelle Williams and Mateo Zoryna sitting in movie theater in The Fabelmans
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The Academy Awards are still several months away, but we may already have the first Oscar front runner of 2022 in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans following the film’s win of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. And now Spielberg himself has spoken out in thanks to all those that have supported his film.

It’s somewhat surprising that Steven Spielberg had never previously entered a film he directed into the competition of TIFF,  but he certainly had a memorable experience the first time. In a statement released to Deadline, Spielberg said that this reception for his semi-autobiographical film made his first TIFF an “intimate and personal” experience, and he thanked those involved in the film and its award win. Spielberg’s statement reads…

As I said on stage the other night, ‘Above all, I’m glad I brought this film to Toronto!.’ This is the most personal film I’ve ever made, and the warm reception from everyone in Toronto made my first visit to TIFF so intimate and personal for me and my entire Fabelman family. Thank you to Cameron Bailey and the incredible staff at TIFF; thank you to Universal Pictures; and a very special thank you to all the movie fans in Toronto who have made this past weekend one I’ll never forget.

Several Best Picture Oscar Winners also took home the People’s Choice Award from TIFF, making it one of the first indications of where those particular winds are blowing. It’s certainly early to have any real idea who could win, several of the high profile projects that are expected to be in the conversation have not debuted yet, but Spielberg is almost always an Oscar threat, and clearly the TIFF audience thinks this one is a strong effort. The only people who don't love The Fabelmans are PETA.

While The Fabelmans is a fictional story, it is, in part, based on Steven Spielberg’s own life. The director had spoken previously about the apprehension that he had making a movie that was so personal to him. Receiving the recognition from TIFF likely helped Spielberg lift some of that emotional weight.

Critics have a similar opinion of The Fabelmans as the audience, CinemaBlend found a lot to love about Spielberg's honest film. Of those that saw the movie at TIFF, it has only a single negative review so far. If the movie is still one that people are talking about when Oscar nominations come out, it seems likely it will make a strong showing. The rest of us will have to wait a couple of months to see if we agree with the TIFF audience. The Fabelmans is set for wide release in November.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.