In 1945, Samuel Goldwyn supposedly exclaimed, “This A-bomb – it’s dynamite!” Fast forward to today, Christopher Nolan’s monumental Oppenheimer, with 13 Bafta nominations, chronicles J. Robert Oppenheimer’s journey through wartime invention, Trinity test ecstasy, and postwar guilt.
Bafta voters embrace its scale, ambition, and seriousness, reminiscent of last year’s All Quiet on the Western Front trend.
On the flip side, Barbie, represented by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, earns a cooler response with five nominations.
Following closely with 11 nods is Yorgos Lanthimos’s black-comic spectacle, Poor Things, starring Emma Stone. Betting against Stone’s win would be unwise.
Sandra Hüller impresses with dual nominations for best actress and supporting actress, showcasing her brilliance in Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest, respectively.
Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, addressing a genocidal subject, gains attention despite snubs in acting categories.
The melancholic 70s dramedy, The Holdovers, featuring Paul Giamatti, makes a mark, while Celine Song’s Past Lives deserves more than its three nods.
Emerald Fennell’s psychothriller Saltburn, matching Barbie with five nominations, raises eyebrows for its alleged infatuation with poshness.
Bafta’s heart lies in outstanding British film and debut categories, with Molly Manning Walker’s How to Have Sex rightfully rewarded.
However, notable omissions include Glenda Jackson and Michael Caine in The Great Escaper and Sam H Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s gripping Femme.
As awards season approaches, Oppenheimer stands out, but contenders like The Zone of Interest and Killers of the Flower Moon might sway the “serious” vote, leaving room for surprises with Poor Things and Emma Stone on the big night. Join Carey Mulligan on January 26 for a Guardian Live event discussing her latest film, Maestro.