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Taft Today

Taft Today

Oppenheimer Atomizes The Golden Globes

On Jan.7, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer joined the esteemed company of films like Godfather and Lawrence of Arabia and dominated the Golden Globes. Across five categories, Oppenheimer won award after award, ending the night with accolades for its leads, direction, and soundtrack. Following Nolan’s controversial Tenet, his biographical epic marks a return to form for the celebrated filmmaker. 

“I thought it’d be simpler accepting for myself. But as a director, of course, as I stand here, I suddenly realize I can only accept this on behalf of people,” said Nolan, surrounded by Oppenheimer‘s cast (Rolling Stone). “As directors, we bring people together, and we try and get them to give their best.”

Nolan’s words struck true in the wake of Oppenheimer‘s performances. Between the film’s eight nominations, Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. took two of the film’s five globes for their performances as Robert Oppenheimer and Levi Strauss, respectively. The ceremony was particularly emotional for Downey, as his performance marked a momentous success following his role as Tony Stark.

“Really, it’s recognition as “most improved player,” joked Downey in a self-deprecating speech. “Before, the critics gave me some beautiful feedback, really just so many great moments. It’s very poetic that I finally have their approval.” (CNN).

Oppenheimer also marks the capstone of Cillian Murphy’s partnership with Nolan. From 2005 onwards, Murphy has worked with the director on multiple projects, from dream-hopping thriller Inception to Nolan’s Batman trilogy. After these supporting roles, Murphy’s depiction of Oppenheimer finally won him a major association award. 

“I knew that the first time I walked on a Christopher Nolan set that it was different,” Murphy fondly recalled. “I could tell by the level of rigor, the level of focus, the level of dedication, the complete lack of seating options for any actors. I knew that I was in the hands of a visionary director.” (GQ).

With the awards, Oppenheimer sealed critical dominance over its commercial rival: Gerta Gerwig’s Barbie. Heading into awards season, observers expected the two films to achieve similar rewards. As the Golden Globes commenced, Barbie even racked up more nominations than Oppenheimer

Despite the hype, Barbie ultimately fell before Oppenheimer‘s success. Though triumphing in the box office, earning $1.45 billion to Oppenheimer’s $956 million, Barbie walked away with two globes: one for box office achievement and another for its original song. Despite predictions, even Margot Robbie was upstaged by Emma Stone in Poor Things.

“I was really surprised,” said Lane senior Marie Sterling. “I thought Margot was locked in for some acting award. Everyone liked Barbie, but who thought of Poor Things first? No offense to people who like that movie, it was just unexpected. Still, at least Barbie won something in the end!”

Regardless, the 81st Golden Globes represented a phenomenal year in cinema: from drama to comedy, every category was packed with talent and quality. But ultimately, one film split the ceremony in twain and won out. May next year bring more Oppenheimers and all that comes attached.

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About the Contributor
George Zemenides, Reporter