Jane Hill stormed out of Oppenheimer complaining that she couldn’t hear the dialogue – Christopher Nolan has now revealed why that is.
The BBC News star took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to reveal how she was ‘disappointed’ by the ‘loud soundtrack’ that obscured the actors’ voices.
Part of the Barbenheimer phenomenon, the biopic about the US scientist who created the atomic bomb has passed $550million (£431m) at the worldwide box office.
That total has made it the highest-grossing World War II film ever to be released, overtaking the $527m made by Nolan’s previous film Dunkirk.
But it appears that Hill wasn’t the only person left squinting their ears to try and hear what the film’s stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt were even saying.
After a few rumblings of discontent, the film’s director explained his decision that has left some movie-goers scratching their heads in frustration.
On occasion, directors will get actors into a studio to re-record a line of dialogue that may be muffled, either by the soundtrack or by noise in the recording.
Speaking to Insider, Nolan said he prefers not to use this method, stating: ‘I like to use the performance that was given – not have the actor re-voice it later.’
The Dark Knight Rises director described his decision as an ‘artistic choice that some people disagree with, and that’s their right,’ but stood by his choice.
Similar complaints were made when movie theatres briefly reopened during the Covid pandemic in 2020, as Nolan’s previous film Tenet topped the box office.
Criticisms were also made regarding the sound mixing in Dunkirk, which was released in cinemas in 2017 and featured a prominent Hans Zimmer soundtrack.
It was then explained to Jane, who began newsreading on the BBC in 1997, that the famous director’s films have often had issues with sound mixing.
She responded: ‘Thanks for so many replies to my Oppenheimer observation. I’m relieved it’s not just me who couldn’t hear the dialogue.’
After the film’s worldwide success, many people have turned towards a 1980 BBC TV series that told the story of Oppenheimer’s designing of the atomic bomb.
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