Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Fabelmans’ Is a Small Movie with Big Awards Potential

If any movie deserved its hyperbolic standing ovation on the festival circuit this year, Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” was it.

When the director took the stage of the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, he received the thunderous response to more than 50 years of filmmaking, not just the passion project that recounts the beginning of that journey.Many prominent directors have made personal projects about their youth in recent times, from Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” to James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” and Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” but only Spielberg could have made a movie with such an explicit relationship to his own celebrated filmography, and the warm reception is likely to follow him through awards season.Spielberg’s career has gone through many phases, but “The Fabelmans” stands out his most contained and intimate movie, a semi-autobiographical drama about ambitious teen Sammy Fabelman (newcomer Gabriel Labelle) as he discovers

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