Oscars 2022: Sir Kenneth Branagh wins his first-ever Oscar for Belfast


Sir Kenneth Branagh won his first Oscar after four decades in the industry with his phenomenal film Belfast (Picture: Invision/AP)

Sir Kenneth Branagh was finally recognised by the Academy Awards as he won his very first Oscar for Belfast.

The actor and director, 61, is held in high regard across the UK and beyond, with a decades-spanning career involving writing, acting, directing and more.

Sir Kenneth has notched up eight Oscar nominations over four decades in the industry, having been nominated in seven different award categories – itself a record.

However, he had always come away empty-handed – until this year.

On Sunday, Sir Kenneth’s phenomenal semi-biographical film Belfast was named the winner of the best original screenplay.

The black-and-white film follows working-class Protestant family Ma and Pa (Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan), and sons Buddy (Jude Hill) and Will (Lewis McAskie) in the 1960s as their lives are flipped upside down when conflict comes to their street at the start of The Troubles.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Kenneth Branagh winner of the Writing (Original Screenplay) award for ???Belfast??? poses backstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Belfast native Sir Kenneth beamed as he picked up the award for his semi-autobiographical film, Belfast (Picture: Getty)

Accepting his first trophy after years of nominations, Sir Kenneth paid tribute to the cast and crew of Belfast, including those they had ‘lost along the way’ – including actor John Sessions and star Jamie’s father, Jim Dornan.

‘We miss them, we love them, we will never forget them,’ Sir Kenneth said.

‘And we will never forget all of those lost in the heartbreaking, heartwarming, human story of that amazing city of Belfast on the fabulous island of Ireland.’

The coveted award represents Sir Kenneth’s first-ever win at the Oscars (Picture: Getty Images)

A beaming Sir Kenneth said Belfast was a story of ‘the search for hope and joy in the face of violence and loss,’ a theme which resonated with critics and the public alike.

As well as an Oscar, Belfast nabbed the award for outstanding British film at the Baftas last month.

Belfast astounded critics and the public alike (Picture: PA)

The 94th Academy Awards were an action-packed one to say the least, with Will Smith’s shocking attack on comedian Chris Rock threatening to steal the show.

However there were some heartwarming and historic wins: Ariana DeBose became the first openly gay woman to win in the acting categories, while Troy Kotsur became the second deaf actor to win, following his Coda co-star Marlee Matlin.

Speaking of Coda, the heartwarming story about Ruby, the only hearing child in a deaf family, won best picture.

Meanwhile, The Power of the Dog director, Jane Campion, became just the third woman in history to win best director.

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