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Friday, July 19, 2024

‘Oppenheimer’ hoping for glory at star-studded BAFTAs

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London, United Kingdom—Stars of the silver screen will gather in London on Sunday for the annual BAFTA awards, often an indicator of Oscars glory, with “Oppenheimer” in the running for an unrivalled 13 awards.

Christopher Nolan’s epic movie about the creation of the atomic bomb, which has grossed more than $1 billion, has already won big at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, and is the clear frontrunner to sweep the board at next month’s Oscars. 

At Sunday’s BAFTAs, the highlight of the British film year, the blockbuster is nominated for best film, for Nolan (director and adapted screenplay), as well as for Emily Blunt (supporting actress) and Robert Downey, Jr. (supporting actor).

Irish actor Murphy is also a heavy favourite to pick up his first best actor BAFTA for his role as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the US theoretical physicist often called the “father of the atomic bomb.”

Margot Robbie, Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Carey Mulligan are among the stars expected to attend the ceremony, hosted by Scottish actor David Tennant.

Hollywood high-society will rub shoulders with actual royalty at the Royal Festival Hall, with Prince William due to attend in his capacity as BAFTA president.

It will be his most important engagement since returning to duties following his wife Catherine’s abdominal operation, and news of his father King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis.

‘Barbenheimer’

“Poor Things,” a surreal dark comedy, could also be set for a historic night having secured 11 nominations, including in the best film category and for 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 Robbie (“Barbie”), 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 individual 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”), Cooper (“Maestro”) and Jonathan Glazer (“The Zone Of Interest”).

Cooper also earned individual nominations for his acclaimed biopic, 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 gong.

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 the number of top prizes expected this awards season.

Reflecting on this year’s shortlist following its unveiling last month, BAFTA chair Sara Putt said the 38 films with nominations reflected “an outstanding year for filmmaking.”

“They showcase ambitious, creative and hugely impressive voices from independent British debuts to global blockbusters,” she added.

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