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‘Oppenheimer’ Caps Seven-Oscar Night With Best Picture Win; Film Was Favorite With Leading 13 Nominations

UPDATED with Best Picture win: Oppenheimer capped off a big night Sunday by winning three of the night’s last four Oscar categories, including being named Best Picture.

The period blockbuster won seven statuettes in all, after coming in as the favorite of the field with 13 nominations. It won Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr as well as prizes for Editing, Cinematography and Score.

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“Any of us who make movies know that you kind of dream of this moment,” producer Emma Thomas said in accepting the night’s final trophy. “But it seemed so unlikely that it would actually happen. And now I’m standing here, and everything’s kind of gone out of my head.”

Oppenheimer came into the ceremony as a favorite to capture an armful of statuettes, including in some of the top categories. The film received 13 nominations and has continued its momentum throughout awards season, following its long run and managing the remarkable feat of grossing more than $950 million at the global box office despite a three-hour running time, long sections shot in black and white, and a script packed with dialogue about nuclear physics.

Before the win in the final marquee category, Nolan and Murphy had their moments to reflect with their individual wins — the first Oscars for both.

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“We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb and, for better or worse, we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world,” Murphy said in accepting his trophy. “So, I would really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.” As the crowd applauded, he hoisted his Oscar above his head.

Oppenheimer did well in the craft categories tonight, with Hoyte van Hoytema capturing the statuette for Cinematography and Jennifer Lame landing her first win from her first career nomination for Editing.

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“To all the aspiring filmmakers out there, I would like to say: Please try shooting that incredible new hit thing called celluloid,” van Hoytema, previously nominated for Nolan’s Dunkirk, said in accepting his trophy. “It’s much easier, they think, and it makes things look so much better.”

Lame acknowledged husband-wife producing-directing duo Thomas and Nolan in her acceptance speech. She called Thomas a “bad-ass producer,” saying she makes “these complicated, beautiful films, and you’re unflappable and I’m in awe of you.

“Chris Nolan, you’re OK too,” she joked.

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Turning more serious, she continued, “I was terrified, like I am right now, when I first got hired to work to work with you. It felt like you took a huge risk hiring me but you never made me feel that way. You instilled so much confidence in me and I looked forward to going to work every day.”

Ludwig Goransson won Oppenheimer‘s fourth Oscar of the night for Best Original Score, following wins at the Grammys and at the BAFTAs.

The two-time Oscar winner (the first was for Black Panther) acknowledged director Christopher Nolan in his acceptance speech. “It was your idea to have a violin in the score,” he said. “That allowed me to work and collaborate with my wonderful wife and acclaimed violinist, Serena Goransson.” The two recorded at night, he recalled. “The result of that was amazing and it really set a nice tone for the project.

It was Downey who got Oppenheimer on the Oscar-night board first, taking home the award for Actor in a Supporting Role after Poor Things ringed up three wins, taking the early lead in the overall wins tally.

“I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy – in that order,” he deadpanned in the opening stretch of another charismatic acceptance speech.

Downey had long ago emerged as a heavy favorite, cementing his chances with a widely hailed speech at January’s Golden Globe Awards. He earned some of the best reviews of his career for his performance as Lewis Strauss, the nemesis of Murphy’s titular character.

“Here’s my little secret: I needed this job more than it needed me,” Downey said. Nolan “knew it. [Producer Emma Thomas] made sure that she surrounded me with one of the great casts and crews of all time, Emily [Blunt], Cillian [Murphy], Matt Damon. It was fantastic and I stand here before you a better man because of it.”

“What we do is important and the stuff that we decide to make is important,” Downey went on before making a left turn and cracking, “So, back to my publicist …”

Downey acknowledged a number of members of his team, closing with a shoutout to Hansen, Jacobsen partner, Tom Hansen, who has been his entertainment lawyer for 40 years. Downey joked, alluding to his struggles with substance abuse and a reputation (since overcome) for erratic behavior that Hansen spent half of those years “trying to get me insured and bailing me out of the hoosegow,” a slang term for jail. “Thanks, bro!”

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