Does Steven Spielberg already have the 2023 Best Picture race locked up?
Spielberg's The Fabelmans won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, a crucial boost in this year's Oscar race. Films that win the TIFF audience award are typically considered serious contenders to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Best Picture-winning films that previously won at TIFF include Nomadland, Green Book, 12 Years a Slave, The King's Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire. No film in the last 10 years has won the TIFF audience award and not been nominated for Best Picture, and numerous other TIFF winners arguably came close to an Oscar victory, including La La Land and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The Fabelmans was already considered the early frontrunner to win Best Picture after debuting at TIFF to rave reviews. The film is loosely based on Spielberg's childhood, and it could become his second movie to win the Best Picture Oscar after Schindler's List in 1994.
Just as crucial to the Oscar race, though, were the runners up for the TIFF audience award. The first was Women Talking, a drama about women in a religious colony grappling with a series of sexual assaults, which also gained a boost and could be a Best Picture dark horse. The second runner up was Glass Onion, the follow-up to Knives Out. The original Knives Out wasn't nominated for Best Picture, but the sequel may make it in, especially after Netflix's other contenders like Bardo have received more mixed reviews than expected.
But it's worth keeping in mind few viewed CODA a Best Picture frontrunner this time last year. So even if you're Steven Spielberg, the Oscar race ain't over 'til it's over.