Nominations for the 94th Annual Academy Awards are in, and it looks Dame Judi Dench has been put forward for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the oldest actress ever to be nominated for the category.
Dench, 87, has been nominated for her role in Kenneth Brannagh’s Belfast, in which she plays young Buddy’s benevolent grandmother. The iconic actress is up against the likes of Ariana DeBose for West Side Story, Kirsten Dunst for The Power of the Dog, Aunjanue Ellis for King Richard, and Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter – the latter of whom is 55 years her junior.
Born in 1934, Judi Dench has been nominated for a whopping seven Academy Awards throughout her career, the first of which came in 1999 for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998). Funnily enough, she won that first award for the same Best Supporting Actress category for which she has been nominated this year.
Dench has also recieved nominations for her roles in Mrs Brown (1997), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006) and the 2013 film Philomena, in which she starred opposite Steve Coogan. Elsewhere, Dench has also recieved a number of honourary awards, such as the BAFTA Fellowship Award, the Society of London Theatre Special Award, and the coveted British Film Institute Fellowship Award.
Dench’s latest nomination is undoubtedly well-deserved. In a 4.5 review of Belfast, Far Out wrote: “It is the relationship between Buddy and his grandparents that provides Belfast with many of its most moving scenes, including the tear-jerking moment when Buddy’s grandmother (Judy Dench) – who has spent her life in Belfast only to see her children and grandchildren forced to flee – talks about watching Lost Horizons in the cinema when she was a young girl. ‘I used to think you could step inside the screen,’ she says, her eyes growing glassy over the idea of escaping to Shangri-La. ‘Did you ever go there?’ Buddy asks, to which Dench mournfully replies: ‘There are no roads to Shangri-La from Belfast'”.
The 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, March 27th. Keep your eyes peeled as further category nominees are announced.