The Fabelmans wins TIFF audience award: Next stop, the Oscars | #oscars | #academywards

Steven Spielberg’s film memoir “The Fabelmans” just bagged the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Since 2008, 13 of the 14 winners of the Toronto audience award have gone on to reap Best Picture bids at the Oscars. And five of those — “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Green Book,” and “Nomadland” — won the top prize at the Academy Awards. (The exception to the rule: 2011’s “Where Do We Go Now?” from Lebanon.)

That stat certainly buoys the awards hopes of “The Fabelmans,” which is inspired by the early years of the filmmaker who just turned 75. Newcomer Gabriel LaBelle plays Sammy, a version of the young Steven, with Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as his parents, Seth Rogen as a family friend, and Judd Hirsch as a cantankerous uncle.

Spielberg co-wrote the film with Tony Kushner (who scripted “Munich,” “Lincoln” and “West Side Story” for the director). Other long-time collaborators of his on board include cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, editor Michael Kahn and composer John Williams. That trio of talent has racked up slews of Oscar nominations and wins for their work with Spielberg. 

While “The Fablemans” finished first in the poll of festival goers, two other strong Oscar contenders were close behind: Sarah Polley‘s “Women Talking,” whose starry cast is headed up by academy favorite Frances McDormand, came second; and “Glass Onion,” Rian Johnson’s sequel to the 2020 Oscar contender “Knives Out,” which sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as the self-proclaimed world’s greatest detective was third. 

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