Steven Spielberg was the talk of the 2023 DGA Awards

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” helmets were among a long list of DGA Awards performers who praised the “The Fabelmans” director.

Although the big winners at the 2023 Directors Guild of America Awards were Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (AKA Daniels), who took home the Theatrical Feature Film award for their imaginative sophomore effort Everything Everywhere All at Once. of almost every director who took the stage at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, it was Steven Spielberg.

His most personal film to date, “The Fabelmans,” was a longtime Oscar contender for Best Picture after winning the People’s Choice Award at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama and Motion Picture. Best director. Despite receiving several critical awards, the A24 Daniels-directed multiverse dramedy is getting a second wind nearly a year after the Michelle Yeoh vehicle premiered at SXSW. The pair are now the third directing duo ever to win the award and are favored for the best director Oscar, as are 17 of the 20 recent DGA winners (including Jane Campion last year).

With only original screenplay nominations at Sunday’s BAFTAs, “The Fabelmans” will need to win Best Motion Picture Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild to show signs of strength against upstart “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” before final Oscar voting begins on March 2.

Since every theatrical feature nominee at the DGA Awards gives an acceptance speech before announcing the winner at the end (which in this case resulted in four acceptance speeches for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” as predicted by exasperated host Judd Apatow), the first, who invoked Spielberg, a record 13-time DGA Award nominee, was Scheinert, who jokingly called him out as one of “the storytellers and filmmakers who inspired the movie we ripped off.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski took a more subtle approach. “When you see a great movie on the big screen, it does something to you, something lasting. And I know it’s true because I couldn’t say what I was doing exactly two weeks ago, but I know what I was doing on Saturday, June 13, 1981,” the 48-year-old filmmaker said at the beginning of the film. his speech. The answer? Watching angry snakes, death traps and melting Nazis in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” means “you can imagine how surreal it is to be nominated alongside Steven Spielberg.”

Steven Spielberg, Denis Villeneuve

Steven Spielberg and Denis Villeneuve at the 75th Directors Guild of America Awards

Monica Schipper/Getty Images

“LIBRARY” director Todd Field happened to mention the same film in his acceptance speech, saying that he saw the first Indiana Jones adventure 350 times while working as a high school projectionist, and later in his career, Spielberg himself said that “the (award) that the DGA matters.” Field ended his speech by quoting “The Fabelmans” (“Movies are dreams you never forget…”) in front of Michelle Williams and the rest of the film’s cast, who were all seated front and center near the stage with Spielberg.

When it was “The Fabelmans'” director’s turn to speak after listing his concerns about making the film — from reactions like “Your mom cheated on your dad and we hate her” to questions like “Who is the John Ford?” and “Why didn’t you direct Indy 5?” – Spielberg thanked his fellow nominees in return, highlighting the Daniels. “It was the best bagel I’ve ever had, by the way,” Spielberg said. “Thank you for that.”

It should also be noted that he introduced her to the director of “Dune”, Denis Villenueve. “Fabelmans is the best film ever made about the power of cinema. It’s a miracle,” said the Québécois filmmaker who was nominated last year. “I would say that I was deeply touched by this film, which is an understatement. “The Fabelmans” is a pure act of artistic generosity by one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.

In the closing remarks of the evening, when they were announced as the winners of the Theater Feature Award, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-director Kwan best summed up the camaraderie the nominees now feel among each other, even if it’s a lot. – respected Spielberg. “What I’m going to take away from this season more than anything, more than the recognition that we get, is just your warmth and your curiosity and your enthusiasm,” Kwan said. “Every time we break bread or share a stage with each other, I leave feeling so inspired. And it’s just a beautiful reminder that even the best filmmakers in this industry, even the legends of the industry, are just kids who are excited to make movies.”

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