The Fabelmans: Spielberg big favorite of the Oscars with his most personal film?

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Very well received during its presentation at the Toronto Festival, “The Fabelmans” by Steven Spielberg received the Audience Award. Which makes him a more than credible candidate for the Oscars.

The race for the Oscars is officially on! An exhausting marathon which will end on March 12, 2023, and whose participants are beginning to reveal themselves. While each country selects its foal for the Best Foreign Language Film trophy and trends have emerged from the Venice Film Festival ( The Banshees of Inisherin ,  Cate Blanchett in Tár …), Toronto has offered us a first favourite.

By leaving with the Audience Award,  Steven Spielberg ‘s  The Fabelmans has indeed confirmed its status as a credible candidate. Without much surprise, of course, because the director is often synonymous with the golden statuette. But it’s now official, especially since, of the ten previous winners of the People’s Choice Award, all have put their names on the Oscars list, winning the supreme trophy ( Twelve Years a Slave , Green Book , Nomadland ) or nope.

We will still have to wait a few months before knowing in which category(ies) The Fabelmans will be represented. And if it will. But a Steven Spielberg triumph would be all the more beautiful since the feature film is inspired by his childhood, and his love of cinema transpires in the first images, unveiled as the film was about to move Toronto. And here is what we know, for the moment, about this opus.

WHEN IS IT COMING OUT?

Originally, The Fabelmans was to be released in France on Wednesday, November 23. Either the same day as in the United States, where he intends to take advantage of Thanksgiving to achieve a good first weekend at the American box office. But the film has since been postponed to January 25, 2023 in France.

A frequent discrepancy among feature films that have sights on the Oscars, and which can thus surf on nominations or awards already received (the Golden Globes for example) to reach a wider audience. Even if one can think that the name of Steven Spielberg is largely enough to attract moviegoers.

WHAT WILL IT TALK ABOUT?

The youth of Sammy Fabelman, whom we will follow from age 7 to 18, and who dreams of becoming a director. In the absence of an official synopsis, that’s all we know about its story, although a “Based on the childhood of its director Steven Spielberg” would be just as telling.

For the occasion, the director co-wrote the screenplay with  Tony Kushner (author of the script for West Side Story , his latest film), something he hadn’t done since AI in the early 2000s.

But could it be otherwise with this incredibly personal project, which he has wanted to set up for almost thirty years after having infused various elements of his childhood (the absence of his father in particular) into the themes of his feature films? previous?

After West Side Story and his dream of a musical comedy, it is another of his wishes that he is in the process of granting with this feature film officially announced in March 2021 and whose shooting began in July of the same year for end a few months later.

However, The Fabelmans will only be freely inspired by the life of Steven Spielberg and the names of the characters will not be the same as those on which they are based. The hero, for example, will be called Sammy.

WHO WILL IT BE WITH?

Alt ego of Steven Spielberg on the big screen, Sammy will be played by Gabriel LaBelle , seen in  The Predator , episodes of  Brand New Cherry Flavor and season 2 of iZombie . A relatively unknown actor, unlike the big names by his side. First name of the casting to have been revealed,  Michelle Williams will indeed be the mother of the hero, inspired by that of the director who however specified that he would give her “an original voice” .

Seen recently in  The Batman , in the guise of a disturbing Riddler, Paul Dano will be the father of Sammy. So a version of that of Steven Spielberg, whose absence following the divorce of his parents was felt in many of his films. Until the recent West Side Story, almost devoid of parental figures, which he nevertheless dedicated to his father.

A role that we imagine key in the filmography of the filmmaker, played by an actor who took his first steps as a director in 2018 with the very beautiful Wildlife , centered on the degradation of a couple.

Armed with his usual sympathy and bonhomie,  Seth Rogen will be a character inspired by the young Spielberg’s favorite uncle. And  Julia Butters (Trudi in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ) will be the hero’s sister.

Other names are also present in the cast, in roles that have not yet been revealed. Like  Judd Hirsch or the young Oakes Fegley , revealed by the very Amblinian remake of Peter and Elliott the Dragon . Is this how he caught the eye of the director?

Now that the trailer, already very moving, has been unveiled, all that remains is to wait wisely for a French release which seems distant, given the enthusiasm that The Fabelmans is already arousing. And if he has everything, on paper, of the perfect last film, Steven Spielberg has already announced that it will not be the end point of his career...