In Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, a young aspiring filmmaker uses his powerful love for the storytelling medium to unlock the truth buried beneath the dark, hidden secrets his family has spent years trying to keep in the dark. That said, it was only fitting that a film celebrating the power of filmmaking would be awarded Best Picture – Drama at the 2023 Golden Globes.
The film faced off against James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of the Water, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, Todd Field’s Tár, and Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick. The feat marks Spielberg’s first win for a drama film since Saving Private Ryan snagged the award in 1999. His on-screen adaptation of West Wide Story was awarded Best Picture – Musical or Comedy in 2022.
“I was John Cassavetes’ PA on one of his movies,” said Spielberg during his acceptance speech. “I got him coffee. I got them anything they wanted. I ran around that set, which was like a 16mm camera and a lot of noise, and whatever they wanted I ran out to delis and go them stuff. And that’s why I treat my PAs so kindly, because I know what it feels like.”
Spielberg’s accolades for The Fabelmans included a Golden Globe win for Best Director. He appeared in the category alongside Luhrmann and Cameron, as well as The Banshees of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh and Everything Everywhere All at Once directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
Spielberg and Tony Kushner were also nominated in the Best Screenplay category, but lost out to McDonagh.
“I never had the courage to hit this story head-on until Tony Kushner, when we were working on Munich, which is a long time ago, sat me down and said, ‘Start telling me about all these stories I’ve heard about your life,’” recalled Spielberg while accepting Best Director. “And we started a conversation. And the conversation lasted all through Munich, all through Lincoln, all through West Side Story. And my wife Kate was always saying, ‘You have to tell this story.’”
Michelle Williams, who played a character inspired by Spielberg’s mother, received a nomination for her role in The Fabelmans. She appeared in the Best Actress – Drama category alongside the eventual winner, Tár‘s Cate Blanchett, as well Empire of Light‘s Olivia Colman, The Woman King‘s Viola Davis and Blonde‘s Ana de Armas.