×

Christopher Nolan Scores His First-Ever Oscar Nomination for Best Director

Christopher Nolan has finally found a seat at the table with his director peers in the motion picture Academy.

The “Dunkirk” helmer picked up his first-ever best-director Oscar nomination Tuesday after three previous bids stalled with the Academy. While the Directors Guild of America had nominated Nolan for “Memento” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “Inception” (2010) prior to this year’s recognition for his latest feat of virtuoso filmmaking, the Academy’s directors branch just never would bite.

The “Inception” miss in particular was puzzling for a best picture nominee that ended up being the year’s most awarded film at the Oscars that year. (Nolan did, however, receive screenplay Oscar nominations for “Memento” and “Inception,” as well as a best picture nomination for the latter.)

In addition to the director recognition this year, Nolan was also nominated alongside wife and co-producer Emma Thomas in the best picture category for his gripping World War II drama.

Dunkirk” received eight Oscar nominations in total, the majority of them throughout the Academy’s various craft categories. It’s a particularly strong contender in the cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing races, three awards that, incidentally, went to “Inception” in its year.

“Dunkirk” comes into the Oscars as the box office champ of this year’s best picture slate. The film opened to $50.5 million domestic in July and went on to gross $525.5 million worldwide.

“At a time when there’s all kinds of storytelling around, movies that gravitate toward things that only movies can do carve out a place for themselves,” Nolan told Variety in a wide-ranging interview at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. “As a director, I try to show people things they’ve never seen before.”

The 90th annual Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Box Office Mojo new

    Box Office Mojo Site Transformed by IMDbPro

    BoxOfficeMojo.com has been transformed into an IMDbPro site, losing some of its free features. The Amazon-owned site, which had previously operated free of charge, was given a new look with its header reading “Box Office Mojo by IMDb Pro.” Information such as breakdowns by genre is now only available behind the IMDbPro paywall. The Box [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Hocus Pocus' Sequel in Development at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has launched development of a sequel to 1993’s fantasy comedy “Hocus Pocus” with “Workaholics” writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo on board to script. The original “Hocus Pocus” starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witch sisters who have been cursed since 1693 in Salem, Ma. The witches [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Wins 2019 Eppy Award for Best Digital Magazine

    Variety has won two Eppy Awards from Editor & Publisher, including Best Digital Magazine and Best Collaborative Investigative/Enterprise Feature for “American (In)Justice” — a collaboration with fellow PMC property Rolling Stone. “American (In)Justice” also tied with USA Today’s “Copy, Paste, Legislate” collaboration with The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. Variety has provided [...]

  • Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place

    Despite three new nationwide releases, domestic box office charts look to be dominated by holdovers — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — during the last weekend in October. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted last weekend with $36 million in North America, enough to dethrone “Joker” after the super-villain origin story’s back-to-back [...]

  • Yasushi Shiina

    Tokyo Market is Finding New Strengths, Says Yasushi Shiina

    Clouds on the global economic horizon and disruption to the scheduling of the event, have done little to dampen the interest of foreign visitors to TIFFCOM, Japan’s biggest film and TV market. Especially those from China, says market head, Yasushi Shiina. The market is again running at the Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex [...]

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content