Tuesday, September 5, 2023

MARIAH's THOUGHTS on Oppenheimer (2023)

Release Date:
July 21, 2023
Run Time:
3 hrs

Directed by:
Christopher Nolan

Produced by:
Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan

Production Co.:
Universal Pictures, Syncopy

Distribution Co.:
Universal Pictures

Social Media:

Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett and Kenneth Branagh

Plot Summary:
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an IMAX®-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Oscar® winner Matt Damon portrays General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Academy Award® nominee Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie plays theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano plays Robert Serber and Josh Hartnett plays pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.

Oppenheimer also stars Oscar® winner Rami Malek and reunites Nolan with eight-time Oscar® nominated actor, writer and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh.

The cast includes Dane DeHaan (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), Dylan Arnold (Halloween franchise), David Krumholtz (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises).

The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan.

Oppenheimer is filmed in a combination of IMAX® 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography including, for the first time ever, sections in IMAX® black and white analogue photography.

Nolan’s films, including Tenet, Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy, have earned more than $5 billion at the global box office and have been awarded 11 Oscars and 36 nominations, including two Best Picture nominations.


*My Thoughts*

I’m here for the drama. The way documentaries could be made to keep people’s attention, Oppenheimer (2023) kept me in anticipation with its music, cinematic lighting, and transitions. It feels like a symphony watching this movie as it bounces back and forth from Oppenheimer’s 1954 security hearing and his years at Los Alamos building the atomic bomb. There are slow moments and moments of anticipation as he and his team test bombs. The scene in Oppenheimer (2023) that depicts this like a piece of art is the celebratory rally after the atomic bombs drop. It shows Oppenheimer’s secondhand guilt. He looks into the audience, who are cheering his creation’s success, but sees nothing but flashing lights and corpses instead of the citizens living in Los Alamos.

Oppenheimer (2023) holds my attention because it has the historical aspect and the atomic bomb, but it has humanity behind it. It is a romanticization of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life, played by Cillian Murphy. Starting the movie during his university years in England, Oppenheimer is filled with stress, as are many university students, riddled with anxiety, able to focus, sleeplessness, and homesickness. It is a good precursor of his personality throughout the movie. His mind is always racing, “hearing the music without needing to read the notes,” as Niels Bohr within the movie puts it. Oppenheimer sees particles and atoms depicted as sparks and little explosions throughout the movie. He’s brilliant, curious, and doesn’t seem to find joy in many things unless he can learn from them.

Oppenheimer (2023) also covers his relationships with others. Although perplexed by Oppenheimer’s witticism or belittled by his ego, men respect and admire him. Women are drawn to him because they find his intelligence enigmatic. Oppenheimer’s enthusiasm for quantum physics draws more scientific minds to him, especially when he begins researching and teaching at Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology.

Cinematically beautiful, but in the end, Oppenheimer (2023) could have been shaved down by thirty minutes. The ego between scientists made evident, the point of the movie came across, and relationships explored, by the end of the movie, I and other movie goers were getting restless.

My rating:

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