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January 25, 2023 3:02 pm

Steven Spielberg’s Autobiopic ‘The Fabelmans’ About His Jewish Family Gets Seven Oscar Nominations


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A scene from the trailer for The Fabelmans starring (from left) Paul Dano, Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical film The Fabelmans garnered seven Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning including Best Picture, the filmmaker’s ninth directing nod and a nomination for actress Michelle Williams, who plays the main character’s Jewish mother in the movie.

The Fabelmans is about a boy named Sammy Fabelman, a character based on Spielberg, and how he developed and pursued his love for filmmaking, a passion that was fostered by his mother but not supported as much by his father. The coming-of-age story also shows glimpses into aspects of Spielberg’s Jewish life, such as him celebrating Jewish holidays with his family and the antisemitic bullying he faced.

Spielberg’s film was also nominated for Original Screenplay, which is his first screenplay nomination ever, and he shares the nod with his co-screenwriter and Jewish playwright Tony Kushner.

“I just recently turned 76, where they say, ‘What’s left to accomplish?’ I suddenly get nominated for the first time in my career by the Academy as a co-author of Best Screenplay — it made me feel like all those English and creative writing classes paid off!” the Indiana Jones filmmaker told Deadline.

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Spielberg already has three Oscars: two for directing Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List and he received the Best Picture award for the latter. He is also now tied with Martin Scorsese for the second-most directing nominations in Oscar history, according to JTA.

Jewish actor Judd Hirsch additionally received a nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in The Fabelmans. The 87-year-old, who played Uncle Boris in the film, is now the second-oldest acting nominee, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Williams was nominated for Actress in a Leading Role and the film’s other nominations were for Original Score and Production Design.

Earlier in January, Spielberg won the award for Best Director for The Fabelmans at the 2023 Golden Globes and the film also won Best Picture in the drama category.

This year’s contenders in the category of Best Picture at the Oscars include All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, TÁR, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking, and the sequels Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick.

Watch the trailer for The Fabelmans below.

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