BAFTA 2024 highlights from Oppenheimer and Christopher Nolan to Michael J. Fox

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, better known as BAFTA, brought the glitz and the glamour to London's Royal Festival Hall last night. The 2024 EE BAFTA Awards celebrated an illustrious year of movie-making and, inevitably, many are tipping the winners as a bellwether for the forthcoming Academy Awards on March 10th.

The ceremony was presented by first-timer David Tennant in memorably dry form as ever. It was a big night for the atomic bomb epic Oppenheimer and Poor Things, and there were more than a few emotional surprises on offer.

Scroll down to check out our essential highlights reel.


Oppenheimer sweeps the board and wins Christopher Nolan his first BAFTA

Yes, it's true, before February 18th, Christopher Nolan had never received a BAFTA.

Well, that changed as the acclaimed British filmmaker scooped the Best Director prize for his explosive atomic epic Oppenheimer. The film emerged as the clear winner at the 2024 BAFTAs, winning a total of seven prizes including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr. and Best Original Score for Ludwig Goransson.

In his acceptance speech, Nolan wryly acknowledged the BAFTA venue the Royal Albert Hall as the place "where my parents would bring me for a bit of culture".


Elsewhere, self-proclaimed 'Oppenhomies' Murphy and Downey Jr. basked in the limelight, winning their respective prizes for their memorable portrayals of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and Atomic Energy chairman Lewis Strauss.

It's Murphy's first BAFTA win and Downey Jr'.s second – he won back in 1993 for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in the film Chaplin.


With Golden Globes and BAFTA success behind it, Oppenheimer has now opened up a strong lead to conquer the Oscars on March 10th. The Academy voters love an awards precedent and Oppenheimer has this in its favour. The film has been nominated for 13 Oscars in total, including Best Picture and Best Director.


Emma Stone scoops Best Actress for Poor Things

It's increasingly likely that the Best Actress Oscar is Emma Stone's for the taking. She nabbed Best Leading Actress for her remarkable portrayal of Bella Baxter in the black comedy Poor Things, adding to an already illustrious list of awards wins including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama.

That said, will the Oscar voters throw a curveball and offer a conciliatory prize to Lily Gladstone? The Killers of the Flower Moon performer was controversially shut out of the BAFTA nominations, so the race for this particular prize may be more open than we realise...

Da'Vine Joy Randolph wins Best Supporting Actress

Da'Vine Joy Randolph walked away with the prize for her scene-stealing turn as a grieving yet warm-hearted college cook in The Holdovers. Randolph has already nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Comedy and her BAFTA win would appear to cement her as the category favourite.

That said, the Oscars don't split the difference between Drama and Comedy/Musical, so Randolph may well have some competition from the likes of Barbie's America Ferrera.

The Zone of Interest wins Best British Film and Best Film Not in the English language

Director Jonathan Glazer's disconcerting Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest wins the unusual accolade for both British Film and non-British Film. Acclaimed sound designer Johnnie Burn also won the BAFTA for his extraordinary audio layering, which suggests chilling horror occurring beyond the frame.

The Zone of Interest is a Film4-backed production that was shot in Poland in the German language, and its double-BAFTA-winning status will likely power it to success at the Oscars where it's contending for Best International Feature Film. 

Given the surprise omission of France's Anatomy of a Fall from said category, it seems more likely that The Zone of Interest will triumph.

Anatomy of a Fall and American Fiction share Screenplay prizes

At least Anatomy of a Fall showed success at the BAFTAs. Although leading actress Sandra Hüller lost to Emma Stone, the acclaimed courtroom thriller won Best Original Screenplay for Justine Triet, also the film's director.

The film's fidelity to legal procedure and courtroom tension evidently impressed BAFTA voters and this may well set a precedent for the forthcoming Oscars where Anatomy of a Fall is nominated in the same category.

On the Adapted Screenplay front, writer/director Cord Jefferson triumphed with his satirical comedy-drama American Fiction, based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. Can the movie beat the heavyweight likes of Oppenheimer, Barbie and Poor Things in the same category at the Oscars?

The Boy and the Heron makes Japanese film history

Hayao Miyazaki's arresting parable of the collision between nature and war-torn Japan won the BAFTA for Best Animated Film. It's the first time a Japanese movie has won in the category, and the Studio Ghibli chief managed to fend off stiff competition from the likes of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Can The Boy and the Heron repeat the trick at the Oscars?

Michael J. Fox gets a standing ovation

Back to the Future icon Michael J. Fox took to the stage to present the Best Film prize, which ultimately went to Oppenheimer. The veteran star spoke of his defiance in the face of Parkinson's disease, which he has suffered from for 30 years.

Fox's tenacity won a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd and emotional support from fan Hannah Waddingham (more on whom below) who claimed that Fox was her pin-up icon when she was a teenager.

Sophie Ellis Bextor performs 'Murder on the Dancefloor'

Bextor's groovy 2001 hit has enjoyed a new lease of life following its twisted use in the dark British movie Salburn. Even if the movie failed to capitalise on its BAFTA nominations, it inspired Bextor to take to the floor and bring the house down.

Hannah Waddingham stuns the crowd

Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham performed a very emotional and heartfelt rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s classic 'Time After Time' during the BAFTA 'In Memoriam' segment. It honours the filmmaking legends that have passed on, which in the last year has ranged from the likes of Michael Gambon to Carl Weathers.

On a more optimistic note, Waddingham was able to meet her teen icon Michael J. Fox, as shared on social media.


Now that the BAFTA red carpet has been rolled away, all eyes are on the 96th Academy Awards. They get underway on March 10th, so click the links below to check out all our ongoing coverage.