Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas to receive knighthood, damehood

Filmmaking power couple Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas will receive knighthood and damehood, the British government announced Thursday.

Nolan, 53, and Thomas, 52, were honored just weeks after winning Academy Awards for “Oppenheimer.”

Though knighthoods and damehoods are sometimes conferred after special achievements, the list of new honors surprised many in the British media. The Guardian said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s list had been “slipped out before the Easter recess.” Such honors are usually awarded at the beginning of a new year or on the monarch’s birthday.

Nolan and Thomas were honored for their services to film. “Oppenheimer” won seven Oscars earlier this month, with Nolan taking home statuettes for best picture and best director. Thomas, a producer on the film, also won best picture.

Nolan had previously been nominated for Oscars for “Memento,” “Inception” and “Dunkirk.” Thomas was also nominated for the latter two films.

Together, the couple founded production company Syncopy in 2001. The company has produced the vast majority of Nolan’s films ever since.

“I think that any of us who make movies kind of dream of this moment,” Thomas said while accepting the Oscar for best picture. “The reason this movie was the movie it was, was Chris Nolan. He is singular, he is brilliant.”

Nolan was born in London to a British father and American mother. He met Thomas at University College London, and they married in 1997.

The two filmmakers were on a controversial list of honorees, which included Egyptian British businessman Mohamed Mansour. Mansour donated 5 million pounds to Sunak’s Conservative Party last year.