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OH Christopher Nolan wins big at Oscars

Last night’s Oscars ceremony at the iconic Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles was one to remember for alumni Christopher Nolan (Melvill, 1989) and Suzi Battersby (Allenby, 2005). Nolan added to his prestigious collection, taking home an astonishing seven trophies for Oppenheimer, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Battersby attended the ceremony as a worthy and hopeful nominee in the Best Makeup & Hairstyling category. 

Christopher Nolan, known for his groundbreaking work in directing and producing, added another feather to his cap by winning the Academy Award for Best Director for his latest blockbuster, Oppenheimer. With a career spanning decades, Nolan has consistently pushed the boundaries of storytelling and visual effects in cinema. His unique style and visionary approach have earned him a dedicated global following and critical acclaim. In addition to Oppenheimer’s impressive 13 nominations and seven wins last evening, Nolan’s film has enjoyed an incredibly successful 2024 awards season, earning seven BAFTAs, five Golden Globes, three SAG Awards and a People’s Choice Award.

Old Haileyburian, Christopher Nolan accepts the Oscar for Best Director at the 96th Academy Awards on 10 March 2024.
Fellow OH Alison Fleming, surprises Christopher Nolan during Oscars press conference.

Perhaps one of the most unexpected moments from last evening’s Oscars happened at the press conference. Nolan was caught off guard when he fielded a question from fellow alumni and journalist Alison Boshoff nee Fleming (Allenby & Colvin, 1988). In their brief interaction, the OHs reminisced about their Haileybury history class.

There was another Haileyburian at the star-studded event. Alumna Suzi Battersby, a standout talent in the world of cinematic prosthetics design and makeup, transformed Dame Helen Mirren for the critically acclaimed film Golda, about the ‘Iron Lady of Israel’, Golda Meir. Suzi’s attention to detail and ability to bring characters to life through special-effects makeup is what earned her top recognition and the Oscar nod. Suzi is no newcomer, however. As the founder of RedGirl FX, she has worked on hits such as Killing Eve, Dr Who, Ted Lasso, Sex Education and Silo, to name a few. Receiving an Oscar nomination is a testament to her skill and passion for her craft.

Suzi Battersby (Allenby, 2005) received a nomination for Best Makeup & Hairstyling Oscar for Golda.

“As my peers will perhaps remember, I wore my love of Drama on my sleeve trying to be involved with as many plays as possible in the lovely old Ayckbourn Theatre, taking LAMDA exams up to Gold Medal and even mucking around doing performances in our rooms at Allenby,” Suzi recently told The Haileybury Society.

The entire Haileybury community joins in celebrating Christopher Nolan and Suzi Battersby. Their success not only brings pride to their alma mater but also serves as a source of inspiration for future generations of pupils looking to make their mark in the world of film and entertainment. We cannot wait to see what the pair achieve next.