Christopher Nolan Is Thankful for 'Meaningful' Best Director Oscars Win

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Christopher Nolan took home his first Best Director win at the 2024 Oscars.

“I have so many people to thank,” Nolan, 53, said during his acceptance speech at the Sunday, March 10, awards show while taking home the Best Director win for his 2023 film Oppenheimer.

He went on to praise the film’s “incredible cast” including Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh and Cillian Murphy, the latter of whom took home Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer.

“A crew, some of who have been rewarded tonight, I can’t say enough about the incredible crew that we got together on this film,” Nolan shared while also giving thanks to Universal and the authors of American Prometheus, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, who wrote the book on which the film was inspired.

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He ended his speech by thanking his wife, “the incredible Emma Thomas,” who serves as a “producer of all our films and all our children.” (The couple, who wed in 1997, share four children.)

“And to the Academy, just to say, movies are just a little bit over 100 years old. I mean, imagine being there 100 years into painting or theater,” Nolan concluded. “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.”

Oppenheimer won seven of its 13 Oscars nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Downey Jr., 58, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.”

Nolan was nominated alongside Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall, Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower MoonYorgos Lanthimos for Poor Things and Jonathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest at the awards show, which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Prior to the Academy Awards, Scorsese, 81, was the only Oscar winner in the category. Throughout his career, he has racked up 16 total nominations, with 10 being for Best Director. He took home the accolade for The Departed in 2006, and his previously nominated films include Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Irishman.

Nolan has eight previous career nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Oppenheimer and Best Director for Dunkirk in 2018. Lanthimos, 50, has received six nods over the years, including Best Picture for Poor Things and Best Director for The Favourite in 2019.

For Triet, 45, and Glazer, 58, this year marked their first-ever Oscar nominations. Triet became the first female French filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Anatomy of a Fall. Glazer, for his part, was also up for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Zone of Interest.

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In January, Nolan won Best Director – Motion Picture at the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, beating out Scorsese, Lanthimos, Barbie’s Greta Gerwig, Maestro’s Bradley Cooper and Past LivesCeline Song.

When the Oscar nominations were announced in January, Gerwig, 40, was snubbed in the Best Director category, with many shocked that she was not recognized for her directorial contributions to Barbie, considering the film received eight Academy Award nominations. Gerwig reacted to her exclusion in her TIME 2024 Women of the Year profile the following month.

“Of course I wanted it for Margot [Robbie],” Gerwig told the outlet, referring to Robbie’s absence from the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. “But I’m just happy we all get to be there together.”

Gerwig, who was previously up for Best Director for Lady Bird in 2018, did earn a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay for Barbie, though. “A friend’s mom said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated,’” she shared. “I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination.’ She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!’”

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