An illustration of Cillian Murphy's Oppenheimer against a red background.
History, Oppenheimer suggests, is made up of agendas and counter-agendas, narratives and counter-narratives, fictions imposed onto a reality where truth has diminishing relevance if it ever mattered at all. Nolan’s films have always had a double-edged relationship with truth, full of noble lies and spiraling self-delusions, their characters manipulating themselves and each other as much as the reality around them.
Tenet is the ultimate expression of Christopher Nolan’s decades-spanning project of capturing subjectivity on screen, conjuring a twilight world where the nature of reality, God, time, right and wrong, and free will, are left in the trenches of ambiguity.
Where Asteroid City shines, where it is made masterpiece, is in its brief flashes of joy: a good picture, a milkshake, a song and dance, one more martini. Here is a life not perfect—soldiers wielding guns, no personal space, endless boredom—made enviable by one thing only: each other.