‘Oppenheimer’ Sweeps the BAFTAs With 7 Awards Including Best Film

“Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster movie about the development of the atomic bomb, swept the board at the EE British Academy Film Awards in London on Sunday.

The movie won seven awards at Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, including best film, best director for Nolan and best leading actor for Cillian Murphy for his portrayal of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

It beat four other nominees to the best film prize, including “Poor Things,” Yorgos Lanthimos’s take on a Frankenstein story and “The Holdovers,” Alexander Payne’s comedy about a boarding school teacher stuck looking after a student over the holidays. It also beat “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour epic about the Osage murders of the 1920s, and “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet’s multilingual courtroom drama about a woman accused of murdering her husband.

In the days leading up to the awards, commonly known as the BAFTAs, most British movie critics predicted that “Oppenheimer” would win big. Tom Shone, writing in The Times of London, said that Nolan’s “magnum opus” was an instant classic. “Sometimes the front-runner is the front-runner for a reason,” he added.

Still, the prizes were Nolan’s first director wins at the BAFTAs, despite several previous nominations for his movies “Inception” and “Dunkirk.”

At the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Nolan, who grew up in London, seemed a little overwhelmed by all the accolades. Accepting the best director prize, he called the award “an incredible honor” then reminisced about his parents dragging him to the festival hall, a major classical music venue as a boy. In fact, he said, his younger brother, now also a TV and filmmaker, had beaten him to the hall’s stage “by about 40 years” because he once took part in a performance of “The Nutcracker.”

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