Peak of the Week: Irish accomplishments at the BAFTAs

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This year’s BAFTAs, held at Royal Festival Hall in London, showcased the expansive pool of Irish talent emerging from the entertainment industry.

Coming as a surprise to very few people, Cillian Murphy has swept the award for Best Actor this Sunday evening for his stellar performance as the eponymic father of the atomic bomb in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. On receiving the trophy, Murphy’s initial words of dubious thanks were “Oh boy, holy moly, thank you very, very much BAFTA." The Cork man is on track to become the first Irish born actor to win the coveted Oscar for best actor. 

Dublin’s Barry Keoghan was also nominated for the award for his performance in Emerald Fennell's Saltburn, while Paul Mescal was nominated for best supporting actor in All of us Strangers - but was usurped by Robert Downey Jr. There was a bit of clandestine Irish talent lurking around other elements of some of the productions: Yorgos Lanthimos's Poor Things starring Emma Stone (who won best actress) is produced by the Irish Company Element Pictures and picked up awards for production design and visual effects. The Irish producers Medb Riordan and Shirley O’Connor were among the team winning the award for outstanding British debut, for Savanah Leaf’s Earth Mama