“Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s movie about the development of the atomic bomb, on Thursday received the highest number of nominations for this year’s EE British Academy Film Awards, known as the BAFTAs.
The film secured 13 nods for Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, including for best film, where it is up against four other titles including “Killers of The Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese’s epic about the Osage murders of the 1920s, and “Poor Things,” Yorgos Lanthimos’s sexually-charged take on a Frankenstein story starring Emma Stone. “Poor Things” followed “Oppenheimer” with 11 nominations overall.
The other titles nominated for best film are “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or winner about a woman accused of murdering her husband, and “The Holdovers,” Alexander Payne’s tale of a boarding school teacher who has to look after students during the holidays.
The nominations for “Oppenheimer” come just days after the movie won three of the major awards at this year’s Golden Globes, and will be seen by many as further boosting its chances at this year’s Oscars; the BAFTA and Oscar voting bodies overlap. This year’s Oscar nominations are scheduled to be announced on Tuesday.
Although “Oppenheimer” secured the most nominations, the highest profile categories featured a variety of movies. In the best director category, Nolan, Triet and Payne were nominated alongside Bradley Cooper for “Maestro,” his biopic of Leonard Bernstein; Jonathan Glazer for “The Zone of Interest,” a movie about day-to-day life at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust; and Andrew Haigh for “All of Us Strangers,” an acclaimed British film about a lonely gay writer.
“Barbie,” Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster about the doll going on a journey of self-discovery, was not nominated in the best movie or best director categories, but Margot Robbie, its star, secured a nomination for best lead actress. Robbie will compete for that prize alongside the stars of other high-profile movies including Emma Stone (“Poor Things”), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) and Fantasia Barrino (“The Color Purple”). Sandra Hüller was also nominated for “Anatomy of a Fall,” as was Vivian Oparah for her role in the British rom-com “Rye Lane,” set in a diverse part of south London.
Lily Gladstone, who earlier this month became the first Indigenous person to win a Golden Globe for best actress for her performance in “Killers of The Flower Moon,” was not nominated for a BAFTA.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Gladstone’s co-star, was also snubbed in the best actor category. That category’s nominees instead included Cillian Murphy for “Oppenheimer,” Cooper for “Maestro” and Barry Keoghan for “Saltburn.” They will compete against Paul Giamatti for his lead role in “The Holdovers,” Colman Domingo for “Rustin” and Teo Yoo for “Past Lives,” Celine Song’s wistful movie about two childhood friends who keep reuniting in later life.
In 2020, the BAFTAs’ organizers overhauled the awards’ nomination processes in an attempt to improve the diversity of nominees. The changes included assigning voters 15 movies to watch each before making their selections. Sara Putt, the chair of BAFTA, said in an interview that the inclusion of Oparah among the leading actress nominees showed that the changes were helping to highlight smaller films, but she added that there was “still more to do” to increase diversity in the industry.
The winners of this year’s BAFTAs are scheduled to be announced on Feb. 18 in a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London, hosted by David Tennant. The ceremony will be broadcast on BritBox in the United States.