2023 Oscars: ‘The Fabelmans’ continues Steven Spielberg’s historic Best Picture run

Another year, another Best Picture nomination for Steven Spielberg. When the 2023 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” was called out seven times, including for Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. That gives Spielberg a record 12th Best Picture nomination as a producer and also ties Spielberg with William Wyler as having directed the greatest number of Best Picture nominees ever at 13 in total.

Spielberg has directed the following Best Picture nominees: “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Color Purple,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Munich,” “War Horse,” “Lincoln,” “Bridge of Spies,” “The Post,” “West Side Story,” and now “The Fabelmans.” Of those 13 films, only “Schindler’s List” won the Oscar for Best Picture so far.

As an individual nominee, Spielberg has received a record 12 Best Picture nominations — for all of the above films except “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and then also Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima,” which counted Spielberg as a producer.

Directing 13 Best Picture nominees in his career puts Spielberg in rarified air alongside Wyler. The closest living person beyond Spielberg to have directed that many Best Picture nominees is Martin Scorsese with eight (Scorsese could be in contention at the 2024 Oscars with “Killers of the Flower Moon”).

Spielberg has won three competitive Oscars, two for “Schindler’s List” (Best Picture and Best Director) and one for “Saving Private Ryan” (Best Director). With nominations for Best Picture as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay this year for “The Fabelmans,” Spielberg now has 22 total Oscar nominations. His Best Director nomination this year is his ninth overall, tying him with Scorsese for the most ever for a living person. (Wyler, again, leads the way with 12.) His nomination in the Original Screenplay category is Spielberg’s first-ever writing nomination. (He shares the nomination this year with Tony Kushner, who is also nominated as a producer of “The Fabelmans.”)

“The Fabelmans” is based on Spielberg’s own life and his parents’ separation when he was a teenager. The film landed six nominations at the 2023 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Score for John Williams (his record 48th nomination for score and 53rd overall, the most ever for a living person), Best Production Design, Best Actress for Michelle Williams, and Best Supporting Actor for Judd Hirsch.

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