Director Steven Spielberg attends the world premiere of ‘The Fabelmans’ at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Reuters/Mark Blinch

TORONTO: Steven Spielberg premiered the highly anticipated Mr and Mrs Faberman at the Toronto International Film Festival to thunderous applause. Debuting his most autobiographical film, the 75-year-old filmmaker said he’s been building towards his entire life.

Written by Spielberg with Tony Kushner, “Mr. and Mrs. Fabelman” spans the director’s own childhood, the parents played by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano in the film, and his early formation as a filmmaker. A boy going to see his first movie (“The Greatest Show on Earth”) outside the cinema, his mother encourages him: “Movies are a dream, doll.

“That’s obviously something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Spielberg said on stage after the screening late Saturday. This is my swan song, not because I decided to retire. Please don’t believe that. ”

Spielberg first spoke with Kushner about becoming “Favellman” during the production of “Lincoln.” It wasn’t until the pandemic that the director decided to tell his own story for the first time.

“As things got worse, I felt like if I was going to leave anything behind, what would I really have to work out and unpack,” Spielberg said.

Spielberg, who had three sisters in the audience, later added: And it was worth making the movie.

Universal Pictures will release The Fabermans in New York and Los Angeles on November 11th, followed by nationwide expansion on November 23rd. Princess of Wales Theater – A major event and a rarity. It was Spielberg’s first film at TIFF, and he introduced the film as his first official line-up for the film festival.

The two-and-a-half-hour film was quickly received as an epic and personal production for Spielberg, and is almost certain to land a lead role at the Academy Awards. The cast includes Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch and Jeannie Berlin as best friends, and a short standout performance from newcomer Gabriel Lovell as Sammy Favelman, the fictional young Spielberg.

“Stephen was generous in letting us into his life,” Dano said, adding that he had access to old Spielberg photos, home movies, and lengthy Zoom conversations with the director.

While there are movie moments where Sammy is brought to life, ‘Favellmans’ may surprise you with just how intricately woven filmmaking and family life are. Kushner, who is a frequent collaborator of Spielberg, said the film shows how “film can be an unreliable friend.”

“It gets you to safety, but going through safety is unexpected and scary,” Kushner said.

Mr. and Mrs. Faberman features early experiments with an 8mm camera, small films made with the family, and increasingly ambitious short films. All of these reflect Spielberg’s own first forays into filmmaking, but with a few differences.

“I made all the behind-the-scenes stuff in this movie so much better than the actual movie I made in Sammy’s time,” Spielberg said with a smile. “It was a great redo.”

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