Does ‘Oppenheimer’s’ Triumph With Awards Herald an Oscar Glory for Cillian Murphy?

Published 12/19/2023, 4:51 AM EST

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2023 proved out to be a real rollercoaster in the film world. There were cinephiles duking it out over Oppenheimer versus Barbie. But, as the year wound down, some surprising movies like Killers of the Flower Moon, American Fiction, Past Lives, and The Color Purple made their separate mark. Still, Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus was the giant everyone could not stop talking about. It was a grand historical drama set in World War II, with explosions, power, and a bit of remorse thrown in. A classic recipe for catching the Academy’s eye. It was precisely what the old-school Academy adores in a big-budget spectacle. Further, setting the stage for an epic showdown in the awards season.

Cillian Murphy nailed the role with his pale, tortured portrayal. He was the heart of the film, teetering between sin and sainthood, bringing depth and emotion. No doubt, Oppenheimer is eyeing that shiny Oscar. But, how about Murphy playing the ladder with the whole fame and glory under his name?

Embraced by accolades: The trail of awards behind Cillian Murphy

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In the labyrinth of Oppenheimer, Murphy delivered an electrifying performance embodying the complexities of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Murphy’s portrayal, cloaked in a suit and hat, with intense blue eyes that seem to pierce through the IMAX screen, took audiences on a gripping journey. The actor’s portrayal from a troubled, homesick student at Cambridge University to the ominous creator of the atomic bomb furthers the reason towards his Oscar run.

Cillian Murphy secured the ‘Best Actor’ title across various esteemed film critic associations for his compelling performance. His exceptional portrayal earned acclaim from numerous renowned bodies, including the Phoenix Film Critics Society, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards, New York Film Critics Online Awards, and more. Undoubtedly, his stellar acting has positioned him as a top contender for the ‘Best Actor’ category.

The biopic connection: Academy’s darling

Christopher Nolan, known for his blockbuster hits, made a significant transition from Warner Bros. to Universal with his latest project, shifting his focus towards character-driven storytelling. Inspired by a touching gesture at the Tenet wrap party, where Robert Pattinson presented a book of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s speeches, Nolan embarked on a monumental biopic journey, delving into the complex life of the historical figure.

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The Academy has a soft spot for biographical films, with six of the last ten Best Actor winners celebrated for their roles portraying real-life personas. From Will Smith‘s portrayal in King Richard to Rami Malek’s depiction in Bohemian Rhapsody, these actors have captured the essence of historical giants. In this league of revered performances, Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer promises to join the ranks of actors embodying influential figures, setting the stage for a portrayal that resonates with historical greatness.

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Dedication defined: Murphy’s role mastery

Murphy’s portrayal as Oppenheimer’s silhouette left a lasting mark in cinema this year, supported by his dedication behind the scenes. Emily Blunt disclosed Murphy’s rigorous diet, allegedly limited to one almond a day, while he also revealed his commitment to nailing Oppenheimer’s physicality by shedding weight and adopting the character’s slender appearance, sustained by a diet of martinis and cigarettes.

His extraordinary efforts, including learning 3000 Dutch words in a weekend, echo the dedicated transformations that have previously earned actors accolades. The Academy has applauded actors for similar commitment. To name, Bradley Cooper’s musical proficiency in A Star is Born to Leonardo DiCaprio’s physical challenges in The Revenant. Murphy’s meticulous preparation, even down to perfecting the character’s accent, positions him as a potential contender for The Oscars.

First-timer triumph: Close Oscar proximity

In the realm of Oscar wins, triumphing on the first shot is never a cakewalk. However, in history, it has been achieved. Think Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody or Redmayne in The Theory of Everything. Murphy, a familiar face from Peaky Blinders, steps into the ring with these heavyweights. Though no stranger to the circuit, his recent dive into impactful dramatic roles served as his grand entry into lead parts on the big screen. This magnetized audiences and stole the spotlight.

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Much like Malek and Redmayne, Murphy’s performance caused a stir. It was not just a gesture but a substantial contribution to cinematic artistry. His standout portrayal in this pivotal role can easily come in the Academy’s eye. More so, leaving an indelible mark that would be hard for the esteemed members to turn a blind eye to.

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Simple love: Awarding favorite films

In the swirling whirlwind of the Oscars, it is not always one movie that steals the limelight; sometimes, a few films divvy up the glory. This year’s fierce competition suggests we might witness a battle where multiple movies bag a bunch of nominations but not necessarily the ultimate victory. Oppenheimer is poised to snag a load of nods. Although, with contenders like Killers of the Flower Moon, Barbie, its win count might end up on the lower side despite the high praises.

Amidst the chaos of nominations, while Oppenheimer stands tall with heaps of nods, the outcome feels uncertain. This year’s Oscars could echo the tale of Lincoln, showered with nominations but ultimately walking away with fewer trophies than anticipated. Yet, Murphy’s standout performance could be the beacon shining through the unpredictability. Moreover, making Oppenheimer a force to reckon with despite the looming uncertainty in the awards race.

A deserved win? Yes!

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Murphy’s rendition of Oppenheimer was not just any role—it demanded finesse and depth, painting a vivid picture of the intricate character. He skillfully captured Oppenheimer’s brilliance, ambitions, and the internal battle over the moral implications of his actions. Oppenheimer became the talk of the town, receiving rave reviews for its mesmerizing visuals, intricate storytelling, and powerful performances. This critical acclaim acted as a potential booster, bolstering Murphy’s chances to secure the coveted Best Actor Oscar.

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Murphy’s acting pedigree, marked by stellar performances in The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley, lent weight to his Oscar prospects. His rising stardom among audiences positioned him as a sought-after talent in Hollywood. While, the Academy’s quest for new faces made Murphy a refreshing choice. Although he does not considers himself worthy, Murphy remains a compelling contender, standing tall with a real shot at clinching the prestigious award.

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Riva Khan

631 articles

Riva Khan is an entertainment reporter at NetflixJunkie. Given her love for the language and writing, she has honed her narrative skills from a young age. She loves her latest tea in Hollywood and keeps an eye on the news.

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