‘Secret Weapon’ – Jude Hill

Article: Gregory Ellwood


Kenneth Branagh’s personal period piece was a genuine crowd-pleaser and that’s hard to do when your setting is The Troubles in 1969 Northern Ireland. It feels like the most sure-fire BP nominee, but likely will be more of a word-of-mouth player than a critical darling. That being said, it feels like Branagh has a better shot at a nomination for his Original Screenplay than direction, and stars Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan are “likely” in the mix for Lead Actress and Actor nominations respectfully (a final decision hasn’t been made at this time).

The movie’s real secret weapon with voters? Fantastic newcomer Jude Hill, who plays Kenneth as a 9-year-old (one of many great young actor performances so far this year), and Judi Dench, as his grandmother, who may just seal the deal. And, as always, you can never discount Dench’s chances in the Supporting category even though she hasn’t been nominated since 2014.