‘Oppenheimer’ tops nominations for BAFTAs

“Oppenheimer” on Thursday led the shortlist of films vying for recognition at Britain’s forthcoming BAFTA awards, earning an unrivaled 13 nominations, including a first-ever for leading actor Cillian Murphy.

Christopher Nolan’s epic movie about the creation of the atomic bomb, which has grossed more than $1 billion, has already cleaned up at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards this month. 

It is now the clear frontrunner for Oscars glory in March, some three weeks after the highlight of the annual British film calendar, the BAFTAs, on February 18.

The blockbuster won BAFTA nominations for best film, for Nolan (director and adapted screenplay), as well as for Murphy (leading actor), Emily Blunt (supporting actress) and Robert Downey Jr. (supporting actor).

“Poor Things”, a surreal dark comedy, followed closely behind with 11 nods, including in the best film category and for Emma Stone’s portrayal of a Victorian reanimated corpse with the brain of an infant.

The American actress has already scooped Golden Globe and Critics Choice best actress awards for her no-holds-barred performance.

She will compete with Margot Robbie (“Barbie”), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”), Sandra Huller (“Anatomy of a Fall”), Fantasia Barrino (“The Colour Purple”) and Vivian Oparah (“Rye Lane”).

Other contenders for best film, aside from “Oppenheimer” and “Poor Things”, include French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall”, 1970s-set prep school comedy “The Holdovers” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”.

Both Scorsese and his historical epic’s leading man Leonardo DiCaprio missed out on BAFTA nods but the movie amassed nine nominations in total.


The best director award will pit Nolan against Andrew Haigh (“All Of Us Strangers”), Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall), Alexander Payne (“The Holdovers”), Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”) and Jonathan Glazer (“The Zone Of Interest”).

None of the contenders has won a BAFTA before for directing.

Cooper also earned individual nominations for his acclaimed bio-pic for original screenplay (shared with screenwriter Josh Singer) and best actor.

He will battle Murphy, fellow Irishman Barry Keoghan (“Saltburn”), Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), Paul Giamatti for (“The Holdovers”) and Teo Yoo (“Past Lives”) for the acting accolade.

The BAFTA shortlist was another disappointment for “Barbie” — the other half of last summer’s “Barbenheimer” box office phenomenon — which only managed five nominations.

Greta Gerwig’s film, which turned nostalgia for the beloved doll into a sharp satire about misogyny and female empowerment, has so far failed to capture top prizes this awards season.

BAFTA chair Sara Putt said the 38 films with nominations reflected “an outstanding year for filmmaking”. 

“The selection is very exciting, and I think the key word is variety,” she told AFP.

Putt commended “a really strong selection of British films” competing this year, noting four of the top ten shortlisted movies were domestic.

She also highlighted that five “fantastic” actresses nominated for leading or supporting roles — Blunt, Mulligan, Oparah, Claire Foy, Rosamund Pike — were British.

“It’s a good year!” the BAFTA chair added.