‘Oppenheimer’ & ‘The Zone Of Interest’ Wins Drive UK Oscars Night

It was a good night for the UK at the 96th Oscars. Brits won in seven separate categories at the Dolby Theatre, with Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Glazer‘s wins the highest profile.

Nolan scooped Best Director and Best Picture, the latter alongside his wife, Emma Thomas, for the night’s standout winner, Oppenheimer. Universal’s film about J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project took home seven statuettes, having been widely tipped for glory after a stellar awards season and handed Nolan his first Best Director win.

After thanking his wife and production partner, Emma Thomas, and others such as brother and Westworld creator Jonathan Nolan, Nolan added a sprinkle of hope to the sauce in a message to the Academy.

“Movies are just a little bit over 100 years old — I mean imagine being there 100 years into painting or theatre. We don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here, but to know that you think that I’m a meaningful part of it means the world to me. Thank you very much,” he said.

Glazer took home a gong for Best International Feature Film for The Zone of Interest, the German-set, British-produced historical drama that he directed. This marked the first time a UK film had won international feature Oscar win, and it also also bagged British pair Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn an upset win for Best Sound.

Glazer took a serious tone in his acceptance speech, noting that the film “shows where dehumanisation leads at its worst.”

“Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people,” he added. “Whether it’s the victims of October 7 in Israel or of the ongoing attack on Gaza, all are victims of this dehumanisation.”

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things also provided a launchpad for British wins, with Holly Waddington winning for Costume Design; James Price and Shona Heath winning alongside Hungarian set decorator Mihalek Zsuzsa in the Production Design category; and Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston taking home gold for Makeup and Hairstyling.

The figures made for good reading for Film4, which scored six wins overall thanks to its investments in Poor Things and The Zone of Interest. At Film4 we’ve had the privilege of working with both Yorgos Lanthimos and Jonathan Glazer for many years, and these Oscars are testament to their dedication to extraordinary, original filmmaking,” said Daniel Battsek, Chairman of Film4 and Ollie Madden Director of Film4, in a statement. “Congratulations to all the winners.”

Oppenheimer‘s Thomas was one of several Brits who reference Mother’s Day in the UK during her winning speech — to the confusion of many in the U.S. on social media, such as The Office star Raine Wilson, who messaged on X: “The biggest thing I got out of tonight’s Oscar telecast was that Mother’s Day is on a different day in the United Kingdom.”

In Britain, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 10, while is the States it is held on May 12.

“I think of my mum who is no longer with us,” said Nolan, who also praised Nolan’s mother in her speech.

Thomas wasn’t the only one who brought up the event. Sean Ono Lennon, the son of Beatle John and Yoko Ono and a dual UK-U.S. national, jumped on the mic after anti-war film War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko won Best Animated Short, and referenced the celebration.

“My mother turned 91 this February, and today is Mother’s Day in the UK, so could everyone please say Happy Mother’s Day Yoko,” he said.

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