"Dunkirk" Star Branagh Welcomes Early Oscar Buzz, Since a War Movie Is "a Tough Sell"

ABC, 19 July 2017
By ABC News Radio

'Dunkirk', the Christopher Nolan film about World War II's Operation Dynamo, opens Friday, and it's already generating serious Oscar buzz. At the New York City premiere on Tuesday, star Kenneth Branagh said Nolan probably isn't thinking that far ahead, but he's just happy that people are talking about the possibility of Oscar gold.

Branagh, a five-time Oscar nominee, said, "I think [Nolan would] probably be the first one to say, 'Wow, thatís early days for that kind of talk,' but I mean, itís a thrill to be in that conversation."

For his part, Nolan has been nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Original screenplay in 2001 for Memento, and in 2010 for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for 'Inception'. Like Branagh, he's yet to win.

Speaking at the event, Branagh went on to praise the movie's young cast, including actor Fionn Whitehead and One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles, making his film debut.

"Iím just so happy for [Nolan] and for the young'uns at the center of this who've done a fantastic job," said Branagh. "Fionn, and I'm so pleased that HarryÖ it was a ballsy thing to do, y'know, and heís really brought it off terrifically well."

Operation Dynamo took place in 1940, and refers to the near-miraculous evacuation of 400,000 Allied soldiers from Dunkirk, France, where they were pinned down behind enemy lines by German forces.

"Itís a tough sell, this," Branagh said of the film. "Dunkirk, not many people know about it necessarily, it's a war movieÖ so to feel the kind of passion that people are looking forward to it with is great."

'Dunkirk', which also stars 'Dark Knight' series star Cillian Murphy and 'Mad Max: Fury Road's' Tom Hardy, opens Friday.

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