Poor Things has set an Oscar record and become the most Academy Award nominated Irish-produced film of all time after it received 11 nods at today’s announcement for the 2024 awards.
The film, which stars Emma Stone and was directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, received 11 Academy Award nominations – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Hair and Make Up, and Best Supporting Actor, and Best Costume Design.
The film’s list of nominations tops previous record holder The Banshees of Inisherin, which won nine nominations last year and In the Name of the Father (1993) and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast (2021), which had seven nominations each.
Poor Things was produced and developed by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe and the team at Dublin-based Element Pictures.
The company has already won two Golden Globes and scored 11 nominations at the BAFTAs for its previous productions.
Today’s announcement brings to 26 the number of Academy Award nominations, as well as two Academy Awards, received by Element Pictures since it was established in 2001.
Staff at the company’s headquarters on O’Connell Street, Dublin were celebrating today as they watched a live feed of the Oscar nominations as they came through from LA.
Co-CEOs and founders of Element Pictures, producers Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, said: “We are thrilled with the news today, and with the ongoing success of Poor Things.
“This is a phenomenal achievement for Yorgos, Emma and our incredible cast and crew of the film, including of course Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan.
“It’s also a huge tribute to all of the Element Pictures team in Dublin, Belfast and London who have been across every detail of this production from its inception to its worldwide release.
“We are also very grateful to amazing team at Film4 and to our brilliant distributors Searchlight.”
Speaking on RTÉ News, Mr Guiney added that the nominations were significant, as they indicated to audiences worldwide that a film was worth seeing.
“11 is extraordinary, and I think we are the second most nominated film which is incredible,” he said.
“It just reassures audiences that this is an entertaining film worth going out and paying the few quid to see it in the cinema.”
Mr Lowe said nominations help consolidate the Irish production company’s reputation in places like Los Angeles, where many industry decisions are made.
“What is great about that is it really helps some of our smaller projects that were first-time directors whose films were getting off the ground it is just that there is a Halo effect,” he said.
Paula Heffernan, head of production at Element Pictures, said that receiving so many nominations is “mind-blowing” and that it’s a “great day” for the company.
Speaking to The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, she described the atmosphere in the boardroom where the staff watched the announcement, saying: “It was wonderful as they were all being announced just to breathe a sigh of relief after each one and celebrate, and think, ‘Wow, we’re actually getting them all!
“It’s quite mind-blowing actually – we’re still in a state of shock, but very happy shock,” she said.
Describing the production of the film as “huge in scale, like nothing we’ve ever produced here in Element and nothing that’s been seen in a long time”, she said the company embarked on a huge search worldwide to try to find large enough studios that would “fit the scale of the production we wanted to do.”
Describing how they built the alternative versions of Lisbon and London, Heffernan described Yorgos Lanthimoss’ vision of the world within Poor Things as “fantastical and magical.”
Last week Poor Things received 11 nominations at the BAFTAs, which came hot on the heels of the success at the 81st Golden Globes earlier this month, where the movie had seven nominations and went on to win the Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) for Emma Stone.
Element Pictures has developed a close working relationship with Lanthimos, dating back over a decade, with the company producing all of his English language films, including The Lobster, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, and The Favourite.
Element is currently working with the director on his latest film, Kinds Of Kindness.
Element also produced Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People.
The Oscars will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 10 March.