Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ Dominates BAFTA Awards, Surprises and Snubs Highlight Unpredictable Night


Renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan received long-awaited recognition from the British film industry at this year’s BAFTA awards, with his epic film “Oppenheimer” securing seven awards, including Best Director and Best Film for Nolan. The victory marked a significant moment in Nolan’s career, as he graciously accepted the accolades, referring to the Royal Festival Hall – the venue of the ceremony – as a place where he was introduced to culture by his parents.

Cillian Murphy, honoured with the Best Actor award for his portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, expressed the complexity of the character and the value of movies in exploring such intricate personalities. The Best Supporting Actor category saw Robert Downey Jr. recognized for his role as Lewis Strauss, Oppenheimer’s opponent, solidifying his status as an awards favourite with an eloquent acceptance speech summarizing his career.

Emma Stone enhanced her Oscar prospects by securing another award for her performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things.” The steampunk fantasy film emerged as a major winner, triumphing in five categories, including Costume, Make-Up & Hair, Production Design, and Special Visual Effects.

In the British film scene, Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers” and the much-discussed “Saltburn” left the ceremony without awards. However, Savanah Leaf’s poignant “Earth Mama” received the Outstanding Debut award, while Mia McKenna-Bruce, the star of “How to Have Sex,” was voted the EE Rising Star by the public.

Greta Gerwig’s feminist parable “Barbie” faced disappointment as it was shut out of the awards, raising questions about its prospects at the Oscars. Similarly, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” went home empty-handed, with Cooper and Carey Mulligan in attendance but without nominations for Lily Gladstone, a frontrunner for the Oscar Best Actress category.

The screenplay awards provided surprises, with Justine Triet and Arthur Harari winning Best Original Screenplay for “Anatomy of a Fall,” a courtroom drama exploring the complexities of a murder case. Cord Jefferson’s Adapted Screenplay win for “American Fiction” stood out as a major upset, denying Nolan another accolade.

Jonathan Glazer’s powerful depiction of Auschwitz in “The Zone of Interest” achieved remarkable success, securing both Outstanding British Film and Film Not in the English Language awards. The film’s acknowledgment increases its Oscar credentials, with five nominations, though Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” remains a strong contender for the major prizes. Despite last year’s BAFTA success of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” its reception among Oscar voters was more reserved, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of awards season outcomes.

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