BAFTA Night Celebrates ‘Oppenheimer’ Triumph

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On a star-studded Sunday evening, British Academy Film Awards celebrated the past year’s cinematic achievements at the Royal Festival Hall in London. “Oppenheimer”, the epic biopic of the father of the atomic age, took top Baftas, winning a total of seven, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Cillian Murphy. Poor Things came in second, with a total of five wins, and The Zone of Interest won three.

Christopher Nolan, one of the most successful British film-makers, who has previously been nominated for eight Baftas, has finally won his first one. “Oppenheimer” tells a story about Robert J. Oppenheimer, American physicist who played a pivotal role in the creation of the atomic bomb in World War II. 

Accepting his award at the Royal Festival Hall, Nolan made reference to the end of his film, when the scientist expresses fear that his work may not have saved the world, but hastened its end. “I do just want to say, our film ends on what I think is a dramatically necessary note of despair,” he said. “But in the real world there are all kinds of individuals and organisations who have fought long and hard to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world (…) I do just want to acknowledge their efforts and point out that they show the necessity and potential of efforts for peace.”

Among the winners, Cillian Murphy stood out, claiming the Best Actor award for his performance. His acceptance speech was notably personal as he expressed sincere gratitude towards Nolan, saying,  “Thanks for seeing something in me that I didn’t see in myself”.

“Oppenheimer” scooped up awards for editing, cinematography and musical score, as well as best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr., who played Atomic Energy Commission head Lewis Strauss.

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