Kenneth Branagh has just turned one of his eight career Oscar nominations into a win, stepping up to receive the award for Original Screenplay for Belfast.
“This is an enormous honor for my family and a great tribute to an amazing city and fantastic people,” said Branagh of his most personal film yet. “This is the search for joy and hope in the face of violence and loss.”
The black-and-white memoir is close to his own experience growing up during the Troubles in 1969 Northern Ireland. It’s been a front-runner for the Oscars since its Telluride debut last fall. Eclectic Branagh – the distinguished theater actor and Shakespeare stalwart currently on screens as Hercule Poirot in Death On The Nile — is the only person to have been nominated in seven categories. He doesn’t appear in the film but directed, wrote and produced it garnering noms for all. The film broke an Oscar record today with its seven total nominations.
The film is the story of nine-year-old Buddy’s and told through his perspective as the world turns suddenly violent and his close-knit family – parents, grandparents, brother — face difficult decisions. It was shot during the pandemic and is a paean to importance of family in dangerous times (echoed by the Ukraine war that was ravaging cities as Oscar voting was taking place).
Branagh won in what was seen as a contest mostly with Paul Thomas Anderson’s original script for Licorice Pizza.
Belfast, from Focus Features, was directed by Branagh, produced by Laura Berwick, Branagh, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas, and released by Focus Features. It also had noms for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound and Best Original Song.
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