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Oscars 2024: Christopher Nolan caps a seven-win haul with Oppenheimer at 96th Academy Awards

Nolan’s masterpiece on the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ was the evening’s biggest winner, including Best Picture

Chandreyee Chatterjee Calcutta Published 11.03.24, 10:35 AM
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer. IMDb

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer took home the Oscars for Best Picture at the 96th Academy Awards, capping a seven-trophy haul at the awards, the maximum won by any film this year.

The blockbuster biopic on the race to create the world’s first atomic bomb and the man behind it — theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy — was an Oscars favourite at the 96th Academy Awards with 13 nominations. This was the highest number of nominations for any Nolan film, with The Dark Knight, Inception and Dunkirk having won eight nominations each previously.


Oppenheimer also picked up Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Cillian Murphy’s first nomination and win), Best Director (Nolan’s first win), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Downey Jr’s third nomination and first win), Best Original Score (Ludwig Goransson’s second win), Best Cinematography (Hoyte van Hoytema) and Best Editing (Jennifer Lame).

The Best Picture award is the crowning glory in an awards season that has been dominated by Oppenheimer, which won awards in the same category at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, Critic’s Choice Awards, Producers Guild of America Awards and more. This, after Oppenheimer became the third highest-grossing film of 2023 after Barbie and The Super Mario Brothers Movie, raking in $957 million at the box office. It makes Oppenheimer the highest grossing Best Picture winner since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 20 years ago.

It also, once and for all, puts to bed the debate spawned by the pop culture phenomenon of Barbenheimer that swept the world, with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie winning just one award, for Best Original Song.

Oppenheimer elbowed out nine films — The Zone of Interest, Poor Things, Anatomy of a Fall, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Holdovers, Barbie, Past Lives and Maestro — to win the Best Picture award.

“The reason this movie was the movie it was is Chris Nolan. He is singular, he is brilliant. But the thing that’s wonderful about our job is that it is a collaboration and teamwork and our team was just incredible on this movie,” said producer, and Nolan’s wife Emma Thomas, acknowledging the role the cast and crew played in making sure that a three-hour-long historical film about a tragic genius and his contribution to the creation of the atomic bomb, which mostly had people talking inside closed rooms, became a summer blockbuster.

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