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ITV’s Oscars Live host Jonathan Ross on ‘major problem’ he had with Oppenheimer

ITV’s Oscars Live host Jonathan Ross has said he loved the way Oppenheimer looked but “had a major problem” with the film’s script.

The 63-year-old chat show host and film critic, who is presenting ITV’s Oscars companion show this Sunday, revealed which films he thinks will win big at the awards ceremony this year.

Christopher Nolan’s epic, about atomic bomb creator J Robert Oppenheimer, played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, has already been successful at several awards ceremonies and took home seven gongs at the Baftas last month.

British Academy Film Awards 2024
Cillian Murphy in the press room after winning the best leading actor award for Oppenheimer during the Bafta Film Awards 2024 in London (Ian West/PA)

Speaking about the movie, which he felt to be “unfocused”, Ross said: “As you get older and a bit more circumspect you realise that just because a film isn’t for you doesn’t mean it’s not a film which a lot of people adore and love and isn’t a good film, you know?

“Clearly Oppenheimer, the craftsmanship… I love the way it looks, I love the way it sounded… it was the script I had a major problem with.

“It felt meandering and somewhat unfocused.

“I’d be very happy for it to win.

“Christopher Nolan is an incredible talent, a real master of his craft.

British Academy Film Awards 2024
Christopher Nolan after winning the best director and best film awards for Oppenheimer (Ian West/PA)

“Some of his movies I’ve adored, some of them I haven’t liked, but I’d be very pleased to see him get it because he’s such a massive talent and, of course, British.”

Speaking further on this year’s nominations for best picture, he said: “I can see why they’re all nominated, I think they all deserve a nomination.

“Some of them, as a viewer and audience member, didn’t excite me as much as others, so I have been a little mystified at the praise heaped on Oppenheimer and Killers Of The Flower Moon, I’m not huge on either of those two.

“I love Poor Things, American Fiction I loved as well. It felt quite of the moment.

“Anatomy Of A Fall I think is incredible. I’ll be very surprised if that wins, but it might, you never know, Parasite pulled it off a few years ago.

UK gala screening of Poor Things – London
Emma Stone attends the UK gala screening of Poor Things (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“And Anatomy Of A Fall isn’t exclusively non-English language, it’s got a mix, so who knows.

“Barbie, that will be fun if Barbie got it. I love Barbie, though. I think that’ll be a very popular one with voters.

“Killers Of The Flower Moon I don’t think will get it and personally don’t think it deserves it, I know a lot of people love it.

“Maestro left me somewhat cold, Past Lives I quite liked… Poor Things and The Zone Of Interest both felt very fresh, very unique and very outside of the normal mode of storytelling so I’m pleased to see them there… I’d be surprised, I suspect it’ll go to Oppenheimer.”

Ross, who fronts celebrity chat show The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV1, also considered what US TV presenter Jimmy Kimmel will be like as this year’s host.

The 95th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscars 2024 (Doug Peters/PA)

“He’s an interesting choice because he’s edgy enough to make it interesting and fun, he’s got a bit more edge and he’s a bit more surprising than Jimmy Fallon for example, but he isn’t too edgy,” he said.

“You have to walk that fine line, you don’t want it to be completely anodyne and bland, which they’ve gone in that direction a few times over the years, but you don’t want to go full Ricky Gervais and have the actors sat there panicking thinking, ‘What are they going to say about me?’”

The Academy Awards have recognised excellence in cinematic achievements since 1929 and this year stars including Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Emily Blunt have all been nominated for awards.

Alongside the Oscars companion show, which will be presented by Ross from 10.15pm on ITV1 and ITVX on March 10, there will also be live coverage from the Oscars red carpet presented by Ross King from 9pm on ITVX.