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Cillian Murphy wins best actor BAFTA as Oppenheimer cleans up the top awards

Christopher Nolan also picked up his own award, winning best director for Oppenheimer.

CILLIAN MURPHY HAS won the leading actor Bafta for the blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer, which scooped 7 awards in total. 

Christopher Nolan also picked up his own award, winning best director, while Oppenheimer itself won best film. Robert Downey Jr won for best supporting actor in the film. 

Accepting the trophy Murphy said: “Oh boy, holy moly, thank you very, very much Bafta.”

He paid tribute to “the most dynamic, kindest producer-director partnership in Hollywood: Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, thank you for seeing something in me that I probably didn’t see in myself.”

The Irish actor said to Nolan: “Thank for always pushing me and demanding excellence because that is what you deliver time and time again.”

london-uk-sunday-18th-february-2024-cillian-murphy-attending-the-bafta-film-awards-2024-at-the-royal-festival-hall-southbank-centre-london-photo-credit-should-read-matt-crossickalamy-live-new Cillian Murphy at the Baftas tonight Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

He also acknowledged his “fellow nominees and my Oppenhomies”, adding: “I know it’s a cliche to say, but I’m in awe of you.”

He said J Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb, was a “colossally knotty character”, adding: “We have a space to debate and interrogate and investigate that complexity and it’s a privilege to be a part of this community with you all.”

Coincidentally, today is the anniversary of the real J. Robert Oppenheimer’s death. 

The leading actress Bafta was won by Emma Stone for Poor Things, produced by Irish company Element Pictures, which took home 5 awards. 

American actress Stone said she was “in awe” of all of the team behind the surreal comedy, where she plays Bella Baxter – a woman who is reanimated and implanted with the brain of a baby.

emma-stone-in-the-press-room-after-winning-the-best-leading-actress-award-for-poor-things-during-the-bafta-film-awards-2024-at-the-royal-festival-hall-southbank-centre-london-picture-date-sunday Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

She paid tribute to the writers for coming up with the line “I must go punch that baby” in a memorable dinner scene, and also hailed director Yorgos Lanthimos for “our friendship and the gift of Bella”.

Also thanking her mother, Stone said: “She kind of made me believe this crazy idea that I can do something like this.”

Stone also thanked her British dialect coach for “not laughing” when she said water in an American accent.

Oppenheimer’s best film award

The award for best film was presented by actor Michael J Fox, who was greeted with a standing ovation as he came on stage in a wheelchair but stood at the podium.

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Collecting the prize, Oppenheimer producer Emma Thomas said: “This is not at all what I imagined when I was sitting at UCL film society with Chris [Nolan] dreaming about making films for a living.”

Paying tribute to her husband, the film’s director Christopher Nolan, Thomas said: “He is inspired and inspiring, he is brilliant, often infuriating, he is always right.

“I am incredibly grateful to him for letting me come along for this ride.”

Oppenheimer also scooped awards for cinematography, editing and original score. 

The Zone of Interest won 3 awards, including Outstanding British Film and for Film Not In the English Language, while 20 Days in Mariupol won Best Documentary. 

Anatomy of a Fall won Best Original Screenplay while American Fiction won Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Holdovers. 

With reporting from Christine Bohan and Press Association.

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