Cillian Murphy to Receive Palm Springs Achievement Award for ‘Oppenheimer’

“He gives a stunning portrayal,” said festival chairman Nachhattar Singh Chandi, who calls the Irish actor’s performance a “career best”

oppenheimer-cillian-murphy
Universal Pictures

The Palm Springs International Film Awards announced on Friday that Cillian Murphy will receive the 2023 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, for his role in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”

Murphy, the Irish actor (whose first name is pronounced with a hard “C,” like “Killian”), portrayed American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called father of the atomic bomb, in Nolan’s epic biography, which has grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide.

Previously, Palm Springs announced that Emma Stone will receive the 2023 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, for her performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things,” and that the creative team of “Killers of the Flower Moon” will scoop the Vanguard Award.

“After working together on five previous films, including ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, ‘Inception,’ and ‘Dunkirk,’ Cillian Murphy and writer-director Christopher Nolan reunite for one of the most ambitious and epic films of the year. Murphy gives a stunning portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer as a conflicted scientist leading the Manhattan Project to produce the world’s first atomic bomb,” said festival chairman Nachhattar Singh Chandi. “For this career-best performance, we are honored to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Cillian Murphy.”

Murphy, 47, has impressed audiences with a career of daring and intriguing performances, ever since his breakout role more than two decades ago as a pandemic survivor in “28 Days Later.” His other credits, in addition to the Nolan pictures, include “Breakfast on Pluto,” “Red Eye,” “Sunshine,” “Anthropoid,” “Quiet Place Part II,” and BBC’s historical crime series “Peaky Blinders” (2013-2022).

“Oppenheimer” marks Murphy’s sixth collaboration with Nolan and his debut in a leading role for the director. His performance, widely acclaimed since the film’s release in July, is expected to land the actor his first Oscar nomination.

Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick… Boom!”), and Gary Oldman (“Mank”).

The Film Awards will take place on January 4, 2024, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through January 15, 2024.

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