Christopher Nolan Wins His First Oscar for Directing ‘Oppenheimer’

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Christopher Nolan arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Christopher Nolan has fulfilled his award show frontrunner status, winning his first Oscar on Sunday night for directing “Oppenheimer.”

The 53-year-old British visionary has garnered critical acclaim throughout his career, but had never won an Oscar until now. He was nominated for directing “Dunkirk” in 2017 and for original screenplay in 2010 for “Inception” and in 2001 for “Memento.”

Nolan beat out Jonathan Glazer of “The Zone of Interest,” Yorgos Lanthimos of “Poor Things,” Martin Scorsese of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and Justine Triet of “Anatomy of a Fall.”At 81, Scorsese was the oldest directing nominee.

Nolan was cheered on by his wife, Emma Thomas, who twice shared best picture nominations with her husband for producing “Dunkirk” and “Inception.” The college sweethearts have been producing partners on all of his films since 1997.

Nolan had been the frontrunner throughout awards season, earning the top prize from the Directors Guild of America along with directing honors at the BAFTA Film Awards and Golden Globes.

Besides directing, Nolan earned nominations for adapted screenplay and best picture for “Oppenheimer,” the three-hour, ambitious, R-rated epic about the American physicist who developed the atomic bomb. The film earned a leading 13 nominations and has earned nearly $1 billion worldwide.

The auteur filmmaker is known for a style that favors documentary-style lighting, hand-held cameras and on-location shooting rather than indoor studios. He has been regularly praised by many of his contemporaries, including Scorsese, who has hailed Nolan for creating “beautifully made films on a big scale.”

Among his other credits are “Tenet,” “Interstellar” and the Batman trilogy of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”