Northern Ireland news

Kenneth Branagh's new movie Belfast and Co Down actor (11) tipped for Oscar glory

Jude Hill from Gilford stars in the movie, Belfast

KENNETH Branagh's new movie 'Belfast' and its 11-year-old Co Down star are being tipped for Oscar glory.

Gilford-born Jude Hill, who has already received rave reviews for his performance in the film, is reportedly being considered for the lead actor nomination at the 2022 Academy Awards.

It comes as Belfast, which also stars Jamie Dornan and Dame Judi Dench, has emerged as one of the front-runners for the coveted awards.

Variety, which has a strong track record on predicting Oscar successes, has reported that the forthcoming movie could pick up multiple nominations, including best actor and best film.

Written and directed by Sir Kenneth, Belfast has already received critical acclaim, including a coveted 'People's Choice' award at the Toronto International Film Festival, regarded as a telling indicator of Academy Awards chances.

The production company behind Sir Kenneth's forthcoming film is set to campaign for Hill, who hails from Gilford, to be considered for the nomination.

If successful, Hill would be the second-youngest actor ever nominated since Jackie Cooper, who was recognised for Norman Taurog's classic comedy 'Skippy', at the fourth Oscars ceremony in the 1930s.

Holywood-born actor Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, Caitriona Balfe and Dame Judi could also being tipped for supporting actors nominations, which are due to be announced on February 8 2022.

It has also been suggested that the film could be tipped for best picture nomination, with Variety also predicting that Sir Kenneth is "looking strong for Oscar recognition in writing and directing".

He has received five Oscar nominations in his career, all across different categories including director, actor and supporting actor.

Belfast is billed as a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy's childhood, played out against the social and political tumult of the late 1960s at the start of the Troubles.

A semi-autobiographical drama, it is based on Sir Kenneth's experiences of growing up in the Tigers Bay area in the north of the city.

The 60-year-old Harry Potter star has described it as "my most personal film" and said "it's about coming home - a dramatic journey of excitement, emotion and humour".

Belfast, which is due to be released in cinemas in February, will have its Irish première at the Belfast Film Festival and Sir Kenneth himself will introduce the film at The ICC Belfast, Waterfront Hall on November 4.

The premiere will also be attended by some of the film's A-list cast.

"I am fortunate to have attended film festivals throughout the world for this most personal of films, but it was always my hope that we might be invited to bring Belfast home," said Sir Kenneth.

"To be included as a part of the Belfast Film Festival is a great honour for us."

Bookmakers are also predicting that Belfast is the frontrunner in the race to be crowned best picture winner at the Oscars.

Sarah Kinsella from BoyleSports said the film had moved from 12/1 to win the Academy Award to favourite.

"Nine of the last 10 winners of the Toronto Festival's top prize have received nominations for best picture at the Oscars and three have gone on to win, including last year's Nomadland, so it looks promising for Belfast," she said.

"The comedy-drama is now the 4/1 favourite from 12/1 following rave reviews since it’s world premiere and we expect it could go shorter once it is released at home."

  • This article was amended on October 14

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news