An observant viewer has spotted an apparent flaw in the background of Christopher Nolan’s new film Oppenheimer.
Released in cinemas on Friday (July 21), Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy J stars as Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist often dubbed the “father of the atomic bomb.”
The film is told in three timelines, mixing scenes from Oppenheimer’s early life and work on the atomic bomb with scenes from his 1954 safety hearing and the 1959 US Senate confirmation hearing of Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.).
While Oppenheimer Although the film was praised for its meticulous recreation of its mid-20th-century setting, one fan apparently spotted a mistake in a 1945 scene.
The moment in question comes after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, when Oppenheimer is called upon to give a speech to a cheering crowd, many of whom wave US flags.
“It was fine and all but I’ll be that guy complaining that they used 50 star flags in a scene from 1945,” wrote Twitter user @AndrewRCraig alongside a still of the relevant scene.
Period flags were used elsewhere in the film, such as the moment Oppenheimer stands under the 48-star flag at Trinity Base Camp.
Some fans even argued that the mistake was actually intentional and meant to subtly convey Oppenheimer’s subjective memories.
“Personally, I think it was done on purpose,” they wrote, “because the colored scenes were created from Oppenheimer’s perspective, which is his modern-day memory of after the introduction of the 50-star flag.”
Oppenheimer was released on the same day as Greta Gerwig’s record-breaking toy adaptation Barbiewith both films together making for the biggest cinema weekend of the year.
In a four star rating from Oppenheimer for The IndependentCritic Clarisse Loughrey wrote: “Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s finest and most revealing work. It’s a deeply disturbing story told with a traditionalist’s eye for craftsmanship and powerful cinematic imagination.
“Here Nolan treats one of the most controversial legacies of the 20th century – that of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ – as a mathematical puzzle to be solved.”
The film, which also stars Matt Damon, Florence Pugh and Emily Blunt, has sparked a backlash among right-wing Hindu groups in India thanks to a scene featuring the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s most sacred scriptures.
Oppenheimer is coming to cinemas now. Follow live updates on Oppenheimer and barbie here.