Every British Artist Nominated at the 96th Annual Academy Awards

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer in a black and white publicity still from the film

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer in a publicity still from the film

At the first Academy Awards, held in 1929, two British people were nominated — London-born cinematographer Charles Rosher and a little-known artist named Charlie Chaplin. Nearly a hundred years later, the categories have been expanded, the pageantry has skyrocketed, and the cartel of Hollywood studio influence has been broken and replaced with whatever the hell is going on in the entertainment industry right now. The ceremony runtime has also gone up slightly from 15 minutes, and due to American Daylight Savings time, this year, the ceremony starts at 7 p.m. ET instead of the traditional eight o’clock, giving red carpet viewers a full hour less of gown-gawking and the rest of us a reasonable bedtime.

Of course, there are also more British people nominated in 2024 — about 25 more. It’s a terrifically strong year for Britain at the 96th Annual Academy Awards, and ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, we’ve broken down every British nominee who’s in with a shot of Oscar gold.

Six of the ten Best Picture nominees have British talent nominated. (Sorry, American Fiction, Past Lives, The Holdovers, and Anatomy of a Fall.) Two big films, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, have one British nominee each: British producer Daniel Lupi as part of Flower Moon’s Best Picture nomination, and Carey Mulligan for Lead Actress in Maestro. Unfortunately, the odds aren’t in either nominee’s favor – Flower Moon doesn’t have the momentum to scoop the big prize; however, its leading lady, star Lily Gladstone, is fully expected to take Lead Actress and beat Mulligan to Oscar gold.

What about the cultural event of Barbenheimer? Even though Brits received the same amount of noms between the two films, they’re more evenly spread in Barbie – six people versus Oppenheimer’s three. That’s because Oppie is led by Britain’s biggest filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, and the auteur is nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s almost a sure thing that he’ll scoop up those first two, which would also mean his producing partner and real-life partner Emma Thomas would scoop Oscar gold as well. Emily Blunt also got her first Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actress.

While Barbie was written and directed by Americans, it was produced by Margot Robbie’s Aussie-based production company, co-led by her English husband Tom Ackerley. Also included alongside Robbie and Ackerley is David Heyman, the English producer extraordinaire behind the Harry Potter franchise. For Best Original Song, we’ve got British-American DJ and record producer Mark Ronson, who co-produced the film’s soundtrack. Best Original Song honors the songwriters and not the performer or producer, which is why he’s nominated for “I’m Just Ken” and not “What Was I Made For?”

Barbie’s shoot was based in London, so a lot of behind-the-scenes talent were British. Jacqueline Durran picked up a nom for Costume Design, and Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer did the same for Production Design. The pink and neon-splashed sets and costumes can only be beaten by Poor Things, also a film with British influences, but with few British faces in front of the camera. (The fact that every main cast member in Poor Things is putting on a British accent of some variety is, of course, part of Yorgos’ theatrical and Frankensteined style – and it works beautifully.)

Onto Poor Things! The phantasmagorical and feminist comedy is set in London and based on a novel by celebrated Scottish author Alasdair Gray (Gray set the book in Glasgow). But few of the top tier talent is British: the cast is American, the director is Greek, the screenwriter is Australian, and the producers are Irish. 

(Non-British sidenote: Ireland continued their Oscar luck with some very respectable nominations this year. Cillian Murphy is tipped to win Best Actor, cinematographer Robbie Ryan gave Poor Things its utterly singular look, and its co-producers Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe scooped another nominee after The Favourite five years ago.)

One of the most exciting Poor Things awards is Jerskin Fendrix for Best Score – the English experimental musician did incredible work with his debut film composition. Poor Things is set to pick up technical awards, meaning its British nominees will likely win gold this Sunday. It’s quite the pack: Holly Waddington for Costume Design; James Price and Shona Heath for Production Design; Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier, and Josh Weston for Make-up and Hairstyling, who will be facing off against another all-British Make-up/Hair team, as Suzi Battersby, Karen Hartley Thomas, and Ashra Kelly-Blue were nommed for the Helen Mirren-starring (but deeply regretfully-timed) Israeli leader biopic Golda

The craft categories are stacked with Brits this year: Jenny Yates and Dave Crossman were honored for their costume work on Napoleon, and Eli Griff is up for Best Production Design for the Ridley Scott film. In the Documentary and Short Film categories, keep an eye out for British talent: screenwriter Nazrin Choudhury is up for Best Live Action Short Film with her Brittany Snow-starring, America-set Red, White, and Blue; producer John Battsek is up for Best Documentary with Bobi Wine: The People’s President; Nigerian-born photographer Misan Harriman received a nomination for his Netflix short The After.

However, Britain’s best chance of Oscar gold is in an unlikely place. The Zone of Interest was shot in Poland with German actors but led by English auteur Jonathan Glazer, who’s up for directing and adapted screenplay. (Producer James Wilson is the film’s only producer nominated.) Most bizarrely, the United Kingdom selected this as their submission for Best International Film and was selected, setting it up to win for the austere and challenging Holocaust drama. Oddly, the whole country is more certain to win Oscar gold rather than any individual; it’s weirder that it’s for a film where English is not spoken once, and it depicts another nation’s history. Still, that’s the Oscars for you!

The 96th Annual Academy Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), are set to air on Sunday, March 10, 2024, live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The red carpet arrivals will begin at 5 p.m. ET, streaming on the Oscars.org website and YouTube, before going live on ABC and the ABC app at 6 p.m. ET, with the ceremony starting at 7 p.m. ET. The entire thing will be available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ the next day. 

Picture shows: Rory Doherty

Rory Doherty is a writer of criticism, films, and plays based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He's often found watching something he knows he'll dislike but will agree to watch all of it anyway. You can follow his thoughts about all things stories @roryhasopinions.

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