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96th Academy Awards - Cillian Murphy wins first Oscar for riveting Oppenheimer performance

Cillian Murphy's Oscar win, with his Oppenheimer performance lauded as career-defining, marks a significant milestone in his illustrious journey as an actor.

96th Academy Awards - Cillian Murphy wins first Oscar for riveting Oppenheimer performance
Cillian Murphy in a still from Oppenheimer

Last Updated: 07.58 AM, Mar 11, 2024


Cillian Murphy has won his first Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and he richly deserves it for his outstanding performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer in the critically acclaimed biopic Oppenheimer, which Christopher Nolan directed. Popular with fans and fellow performers alike, the actor's triumph is a fitting capstone to an impressive career and a tribute to his remarkable skill and perseverance.

Captivating portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Murphy's commanding portrayal of the mysterious and multi-faceted scientist, frequently called the "father of the atomic bomb," enthralled both critics and viewers. He did an excellent job of capturing the complexity of Oppenheimer's twisted intellect as well as the moral and emotional struggles that the man responsible for creating the atomic bomb endured. This part required a thorough understanding of Oppenheimer's mind because it was based on an unusual script that Nolan wrote almost entirely from the protagonist's perspective. Murphy met this challenge with a deeply moving and hauntingly memorable performance.

Along the way, the actor has proven his versatility and depth as an actor with a string of critically lauded performances. His ability to fully embody his characters, often infusing them with layers of complexity and humanity that enhance the material, is supported by the dazzling intensity hidden behind his sparkly blue eyes. This has been evident in his breakout role in 28 Days Later, for which he may return, as well as in his transformative performances in films and series like Peaky Blinders and The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

Murphy and Nolan's dynamic partnership

In light of everything that has happened, it is almost natural that Murphy should win his first Oscar for a Nolan film. For nearly twenty years, the actor, known for his adaptability and passion on screen, has collaborated with the filmmaker. His debut performance as Scarecrow/Dr. Jonathan Crane in the Dark Knight trilogy demonstrated his talent for bringing nuanced villains to life. He convincingly portrayed a wide range of emotions in both Inception and Dunkirk, from the disturbed psyche of Robert Fischer, the innocent target of a "dream heist," to the heroic bravery of a soldier discovered at sea during World War II.

But the Oscar he had been after for so long eventually came his way with his first leading part for Nolan—not that Murphy cared about the praise either. Having tea and cake with his parents in Ireland was indeed a way for one man to celebrate his nomination. He has now become the centre of attention on the most spectacular night in Hollywood.

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