Kenneth Branagh: ‘It’s been a hell of a day’ following Oscar nomination success
Sir Kenneth Branagh said it had been a “hell of a day” for his family after his semi-autobiographical film Belfast was handed seven nominations at the 94th Academy Awards.
The director thanked Academy voters for the “generous recognition” and said his parents and grandparents would have been “overwhelmed” by the film’s success.
The film received nods including best picture, best director and best original screenplay along with best supporting actress for Dame Judi Dench and best supporting actor for Ciaran Hinds.
“It’s a long way from the streets of Belfast to the Academy Awards,” he said.
“Today, I think of my mother and father, and my grandparents – how proud they were to be Irish, how much this city meant to them.
“They would have been overwhelmed by this incredible honour – as am I.
“Given a story as personal as this one, it’s a hell of a day for my family, and the family of our film. I thank Academy voters for their incredible and generous recognition.
“We are honoured to be among the other extraordinary nominees in a remarkable year for films, and I salute the superb cast and crew of Belfast for their exceptional talent, comradeship and kindness.”
Actor Ciaran Hinds, who received a best supporting actor nomination for his role in the film, said he was “astounded” and “deeply grateful” for the recognition.
“Having worked in this industry for nearly 50 years, I thought there wasn’t much that could surprise me still,” he said.
“Today, I can honestly say, I am astounded, thrilled and deeply grateful.”
British star Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley were also recognised for their parts in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter.
Previous Oscar-winner Colman said she felt “bloody brilliant” after receiving the nomination.
“Oh my God yes. I’m so excited!” she said.
“And with Maggie and Jessie, and our fellow nominees, this feeling right now is bloody brilliant.
“Thank you thank you thank thank you xxxxxx.”
Buckley who received an Academy nod for best supporting actress said it was “a wild dream come true”.
“I am in complete shock! The Lost Daughter is so special to me,” she said.
“To be recognised for anything connected to it is just a wild dream come true.
“And to gorgeous Olivia Colman and our leader and legend Maggie Gyllenhaal, I’m so lucky to share this ride with you incredible women. Thank you.”
Big success also came for Jane Campion. Her dark western The Power Of The Dog led the pack with 12 nominations including best picture, best director and best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch for his role as a cruel rancher.
The film’s producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, from See-Saw Films, said it had been an “incredible privilege” to work with Campion, who made history by being the first woman to be nominated twice for best director.
“It has been an incredible privilege to work with Jane Campion on The Power of The Dog,” they said in a statement
“She is a visionary director and one of the world’s finest filmmakers.
“Her artistry and graceful command of this story can be seen in every frame of the film and we are so grateful to The Academy for recognising it with 12 nominations.
“We are equally thrilled for Jane to receive her first ever Best Picture nomination and we are so proud of our incredible ensemble of cast and crew, including those nominated today.”
Kodi Smit McPhee, who was nominated for best supporting actor in the dark western, said he would be “eternally grateful” for the trust put in him by director Jane Campion.
“Where do I even begin… I’m simply elated. This is beyond even my wildest imagination,” he said, reacting to the news.
“I’m forever indebted to Jane’s brilliance and am eternally grateful for her trust in me to bring Peter to life.
“She’s a singular talent that every actor should be so lucky to work with. I think I can speak for the cast when I say we were in the most trusted hands imaginable.”
Dunst, who played Smit McPhee’s onscreen mother Rose Gordon, said said working on the film was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
“To be honoured by the Academy is a truly humbling experience. For both Jesse and I to get our first nominations together is beyond our wildest dreams.
“Congratulations to Jane, Benedict, Kodi and Jesse on their nominations and the entire cast and crew of The Power Of The Dog.
“Working on this film was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m forever grateful for Jane trusting me to bring Rose’s story to life.
“Thank you to the Academy for recognising our work and for putting me amongst such a remarkable group of actresses.”