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Baftas: Oppenheimer and Poor Things lead the race at 2024 ceremony

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer leads the race at this year’s Baftas after receiving 13 nominations, including in the Best Film category – but there is outrage over several key omissions.

Nolan is in the running to win his first ever Bafta for the film starring Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr and Emily Blunt – all of whom have been nominated in the acting categories.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things , which stars Emma Stone, received 11 nominations on Thursday (18 January), while historical epic Killers of the Flower Moon and Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest had nine each.

Other leading contenders include French courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, starring Paul Giamatti, and Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, with seven nominations each.

However, while All of Us Strangers was nominated in six categories, lead actor Andrew Scott was snubbed in the main acting category as was Lily Gladstone for Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Gladstone, who won the Golden Globe earlier this month, was widely tipped as an awards frontrunner for her role of Mollie Burkhart.

Meanwhile, Barbie, one half of 2023’s Barbenheimer box office juggernaut, got five nominations – but missed out on a nod for Best Film as well as Best Director for Greta Gerwig.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 18 February held at London’s Royal Festival Hall, hosted by Doctor Who star David Tennant.

The prizes – officially titled the EE Bafta Film Awards – are Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Academy Awards and will be watched closely for hints of who may win at the Oscars on 10 March.

The Best Film race pits Oppenheimer against Poor Things, Killers of the Flower Moon, Anatomy of a Fall and The Holdovers.

Poor Things is also on the 10-strong list for the separate category of Outstanding British Film, an eclectic slate that includes Saltburn, imperial epic Napoleon, south London romcom Rye Lane and chocolatier origin story Wonka, among others.

‘Oppenheimer’ leads the Baftas tally with 13 nominations (Universal Pictures)
‘Oppenheimer’ leads the Baftas tally with 13 nominations (Universal Pictures)

The Best Leading Actor nominees are Bradley Cooper for Maestro, Colman Domingo for Rustin, Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, Barry Keoghan for Saltburn, Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer and Teo Yoo for Past Lives.

The Best Leading Actress contenders are Fantasia Barrino for The Color Purple, Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall, Carey Mulligan for Maestro, Vivian Oparah for Rye Lane, Margot Robbie for Barbie and Emma Stone for Poor Things.

Harrowing Ukraine war documentary 20 Days in Mariupol, produced by The Associated Press and PBS Frontline, is nominated for Best Documentary and Best Film Not in the English Language.

Britain’s film academy introduced changes to increase the awards’ diversity in 2020, when no women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.

The voting process was rejigged to add a longlist round in the selection before the final nominees are voted on by the academy’s 8,000-strong membership of industry professionals.

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ star Lily Gladstone has been snubbed by Britain’s film academy (Apple TV+)
‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ star Lily Gladstone has been snubbed by Britain’s film academy (Apple TV+)

Under the new rules, the director longlist had equal numbers of male and female filmmakers but there is only one woman among the six Best Director nominees, Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall. She is up against Andrew Haigh for All of Us Strangers, Alexander Payne for The Holdovers, Bradley Cooper for Maestro, Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer and Jonathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest. Barbie director Greta Gerwig was a notable omission.

Bafta chair Sara Putt said she was proud of the academy's work on diversity but “the playing field is not level”.

“We’re coming at this from a world that is not level, in that sense,” she said. “For every one film made by a woman, there are three films made by a man. So there’s a really long journey to go on.”

Additional reporting by agencies