Christopher Nolan has won the Golden Globe for Best Director for “Oppenheimer.”

The win marks Nolan’s first Golden Globe win on his sixth nomination. His blockbuster about atomic bomb inventor J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the most nominated films at this year’s Golden Globes, picking up eight nods including Best Screenplay for Nolan and Best Motion Picture — Drama.

While Nolan has long been one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers — balancing critical acclaim and box office success in a way that has afforded him a singular level of creative freedom — high-profile award wins have largely evaded him. He has received five Oscar nominations, including two for Best Picture and one for Best Director, but has yet to win.

“Oppenheimer” has long been viewed as an early Oscar frontrunner, and Nolan’s win cements his status as the name to beat in a crowded Best Director field that includes the likes of Martin Scorsese and Greta Gerwig.

While “Oppenheimer” is an adaptation of Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s biography “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” Nolan has bristled at the idea of labeling it a biopic. He previously explained that he views “Oppenheimer” as something more comparable to a heist movie than a conventional biopic that covers a subject from birth to death.

“This is where the concept of a biopic fails you completely as a genre,” he said. “It’s not a useful genre. I love working in useful genres. In this film … it’s the heist film as it applies to the Manhattan Project and the courtroom drama as it applies to the security hearings. It’s very useful to look at the conventions of those genres and how they can pull the audience and how they can give me communication with the audience.”

For more Golden Globes updates, check out IndieWire’s updating winners list.

The 81st Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, January 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Dick Clark Productions, which owns and produces the Golden Globes, is a Penske Media company. PMC is also IndieWire’s parent company.

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