Review: Oliver Stone wants you to think about ‘Nuclear Now’ in new documentary – by Robert Abele (Los Angeles Times – April 27, 2023)

With a recent Gallup poll indicating that American support for nuclear power is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade, and the news getting worse about our imminent reckoning with climate change, there may be no time like the present for a documentary to make the case for a maligned energy source — one more associated with war and catastrophe than lighting our homes — as the best solution for a grim future.

The question then is whether a dyed-in-the-wool rabble-rouser like Oliver Stone is the most persuasive guy for this argument when he’s more likely these days to make news for being controversial (he’s been called a Putin apologist); and his most recent feature being 2016’s ignored “Snowden.”

But while Stone’s narrating voice at times betrays the world-weariness of a lifetime playing the cultural and geopolitical firebrand, his “Nuclear Now” is the Oscar-winning filmmaker in as positive a frame of mind as he can get about a meaningful subject — saving the planet with an elemental gift, one efficient, smoothly running reactor at a time.

An admitted one-time skeptic of nuclear turned near-giddy science nerd about it when interviewing a new generation of innovators and advocates, Stone is the last person you’d expect to be the optimistic opposite of the climate doc genre’s sacred scare text: “An Inconvenient Truth.” (Stone’s source material is his co-writer/scholar Joshua S. Goldstein’s “A Bright Future.”)

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