The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.firstshowing.net/2023/review-nolans-oppenheimer-is-a-harrowing-tale-of-one-mans-life/ "Oppenheimer is a true masterclass in how to build extreme tension and suspense through fast, detailed dialogue, an insanely powerful sound production, and an equally explosive score from Ludwig Göransson. Words cannot fully describe Hoyte van Hoytema's gorgeous cinematography. It's a harrowing, disturbing, genuinely frightening story about how one man's compulsion and political power changed the world. Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., and Emily Blunt shouldn't miss any awards ceremonies… they're absolutely superb, as are the rest of the exceptional actors involved in the movie. Pacing, structure, and runtime, in addition to its quasi-documentary style and its narrative complexity, make this a difficult, heavy watch that will, for sure, leave some viewers disappointed, bored, or simply tired. Ultimately, Christopher Nolan justifies the use of the expression "not for everyone". Rating: A-
**OPPENHEIMER IS "NOT FOR EVERYONE" AS STATED BY CHRISTROPHER NOLAN BEFORE THE RELEASE OF THE FILM HIMSELF. ** But those who have ample knowledge of physics and chemistry, this film is a masterpiece. The film takes the viewer into the mind of the "Father of the atomic bomb" how he thinks, how he feels with much accuracy. Nolan beautifully explains his life both on a private and professional front. The music, the sounds with each scene are top notch. The visuals of QUANTUM PHYSICS, FISSION, NUCLEAR EXPLOSION are mind-boggling. If possible, watch it in IMAX. THE MOVIE IS FULL OF DIALOGUES, CONVERSATIONS MOVING BACK AND FORTH IN TIMELINE. It's a historical biography with fantabulous acting by C.M., E.B., R.D.J. and more. The scenes with ALBERT EINSTEIN are just wow. A plethora of scientists(BOHR, FERMI, TELLER, HEISENBERG) of the age can be seen throughout. There are no action scenes if you are in search of that. IT IS A CINEMATOGRAPHIC BRILLIANCE. IF U CAN'T WATCH SIENTIFIC HISTORY JUST DON'T GO.
Telling the story of a larger-than-life individual truly calls for a larger-than-life film, and that’s precisely what writer-director Christopher Nolan has come up with in his latest feature outing, handily the best work of his career. Nolan’s three-hour opus about the life of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), director of the Manhattan Project (and more commonly known as the Father of the Atomic Bomb), provides viewers with a comprehensive biography of this brilliant and thoughtful yet often-inscrutable and naïve physicist who took on a patently dangerous venture that left him morally conflicted about the nature of his creation. The story, which spans several decades of the scientist’s life, chronicles his development of “the gadget” and the fallout he suffered as a consequence of his left-wing political leanings and his efforts to keep the released nuclear genie from getting out of control. The film is admittedly a little overlong and probably could have used some editing in the opening and final hour, but, in the interest of telling the whole story of Oppenheimer’s odyssey, its length is understandable (and, consequently, justifiable). The picture’s production values are all top shelf, especially its brilliant cinematography, stirring original score and superb sound quality, an element that truly leaves audiences with a bona fide visceral experience. Moreover, the narrative is skillfully and eloquently brought to life by this offering’s outstanding ensemble cast, including Murphy, Matt Damon, Tom Conti, Benny Safdie, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Gary Oldman, Rami Malek, and, especially, Robert Downey Jr., who delivers a stellar, award-worthy supporting performance showing acting chops that I never knew he possessed. “Oppenheimer” is easily the best film of the summer movie season, if not all of 2023 thus far. It packs a potent punch and delivers a message that we can all never hear too often, poignantly reminding us all of the importance of not falling prey to the same Promethean burden that Oppenheimer was forced to shoulder.
Cillian Murphy offers an assured and considered performance here as the man who is credited with developing the bomb that hastened the end of WWII in the far east. He is the increasingly acclaimed, eponymous, physicist who is made aware by Admiral Lewis Strauss (another strong performance from Robert Downey Jr.) that it just possible that the Russians have the A-bomb. Now Oppenheimer already suspects that the Nazis are also well on their way to weaponising the atom - his earlier education and career had introduced him to some of the prominent minds in the UK and in Germany who were quite capable of taking the theory forward; so he begins to pressurise the American government to begin it's own programme - and the "Manhattan Project" is born. Motivated/goaded/galvanised by the ambitious "Col. Groves" (Matt Damon) he assembles a formidable collection of scientific minds at a purpose built, desert, location which he christens Los Alamos, and over the next three years - and with $2bn to spend - they work on the science whilst plutonium and uranium are being simultaneously processed at an irkingly glacial pace! Given that much of this is reasonably well documented history, the actual plot here has little by way of jeopardy. Instead, Christopher Nolan attempts via his writing and direction to put some meat on the bones of the characters here. It's clear that Oppenheimer is a bit of a Lothario, but it's also clear that he can engender the loyalty of a variety of people with diverging views - not just surrounding the science of their project, but around the morals and ethics of creating something that - well, you can't get the toothpaste back into the tube. The latter portion of this drama focusses on the subsequent, communist-obsessed, witch-hunting that went on attempting to persecute and smear this remarkable and flawed individual, and it makes some interesting postulations about just who was pulling whose strings. It also has quite a penetrating resonation about it - not just, specifically, about Oppeneheimer - but about all of those post-event "enquiries" that rarely deliver an honest appraisal of what was done in the name of expediency at the time, but ends up more of a character assassination exercise by those who didn't do anything against those who did and had to. Though at times the pace of this thing helps to keep it enthralling, it is too long - at times it really does plod along. Perhaps an other, objective, eye on the writing/direction may have tightened it up without having to sacrifice any of the potency of the story. Maybe someone needs to tell Mr. Nolan that a three hour film isn't always required! That said, it's a gorgeous film to look at. The aesthetics are first rate and the entire sentiment of the film reeks of authenticity. I do think this thrives better on a big screen so try to see it as it was intended. It's though provoking, complex, characterful - and well worth a watch.
This film takes you on an exhilarating journey through history, skillfully weaving together captivating storytelling and breathtaking visuals. The performances were top-notch, leaving me completely immersed in the characters' emotions. A definite must-see!
Cillian Murphy, so hot right now. Film is a little long though.
The intersection of innovation, science, political bureaucracy, and ethics meet in writer-director Christopher Nolan‘s “Oppenheimer,” a dark, challenging biopic about the father of the atomic bomb, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. This profound epic clocks in at three hours yet never feels too long, even if it’s painfully clear that Nolan is indulging himself in a passion project. During World War II, Lt. General Leslie Groves Jr. (Matt Damon) appoints physicist Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Assembling a team of the brightest scientists the country has to offer, the experts spend years developing and designing the atomic bomb. When their final product is used against Japan on July 16, 1945, the world witnesses its first nuclear explosion in an event that not only ends the war, but forever changes the course of history. There has been much hype about the fact that Nolan chose to film in IMAX, but the large format feels wasted here. The visuals are far from stunning, and the film is mostly a dramatic, dialogue-heavy history lesson that’s a far cry from what I’d call “entertaining.” It’s a great movie that’s engaging, sophisticated, and intelligent, but those expecting traditional thrills are going to be greatly disappointed. Save your money, because seeing this in IMAX isn’t really worth it. Nolan’s film is poignant in a way that’s chillingly relevant. His story not only explores one of the most important figures in U.S. history, but also makes you think about the current lack of empathy that’s plaguing society. There’s a very real moral question about humanity’s ability to make something that will help save the lives of many but also result in the death of innocents, and Nolan makes a strong political statement in a surprisingly restrained manner. His commentary on the far-reaching effects of such a powerful weapon born from the intersection of innovation, science, and government, while being an invention that has changed but also endangered the world, will give you chills. Nolan’s script is terrific, and is one of my favorite screenplays of the year. Nolan tells much more of the obscure back story of Oppenheimer’s professional and personal life that few know, and it makes for a lengthy (but interesting) narrative. The film includes his ties to the Communist Party, Hoover’s FBI investigation, his tangles with Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), and an eventual closed-door hearing that was designed to strip him of his security clearance years after the war ended. “Oppenheimer” is a complex film that requires your full attention, with myriad characters and time jumps that will keep you on your toes. A basic knowledge of history is beneficial, but those who have only heard the name Robert Oppenheimer and are aware of the very basics (like the fact that he was involved in the creation of the atomic bomb) won’t be completely lost. In addition to complicated discussions of quantum physics, there are weighty themes about the dangers of government bureaucracy and the moral and ethical implications of creating a weapon of mass destruction. Nolan isn’t the type of storyteller who is keen on hand holding, and it’s refreshing to see a riveting movie that’s made for thinking audiences.
The cinematic masterpiece that is Oppenheimer leaves an indelible impression on anyone who watches it. Christopher Nolan has truly outdone himself with this film, delivering a poignant message about the horrors of nuclear war. The superb direction and exceptional performances by Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and others draw you into the story, making you feel as though you are right there in the midst of it all. Even though there aren't any action scenes, the movie still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat for its entire 3-hour runtime. Oppenheimer is a biopic that everyone knows the ending to, but thanks to the expert direction and awe-inspiring performances, it is an experience that will leave a lasting impression on you.
> **Oppenheimer:** I feel like I have blood on my hands, sir. > > **Truman:** [takes a handkerchief from his pocket and gives it to him] You think anyone in Hiroshima or Nagasaki gives a shit about who built the bomb? an incredibly well-written and extremely well-acted piece of dramatic cinema about the very eventful and complicated life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and it is beautiful. I'm actually surprised this is a huge summer blockbuster. anytime Christopher Nolan releases a film, it's obviously an event all around the world because he's made tons of great films and he's one of the very few film-makers working today who really cares about cinema and values that cinematic experience. he's also one of the very few people who's actually given a budget to support his love for cinema. he shoots on film, does everything practically, he wants as little CGI as possible and he has apparently claimed that there isn't a single CGI shot in this film. if that's actually the case, like if he hasn't even included cleanup shots in the film, then my spirit just left my body. it's astounding. went into this film with very limited knowledge about the life of Oppenheimer. like most people, I only knew him as The Father of the Atomic Bomb and the famous lines he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita which are Now I Am Become Death, The Destroyer of Worlds where he's talking about the atomic bomb realising the gravity of his creation and having to live with the sin of his achievement. I had no other knowledge about him as a person, his life outside of the invention, and the events that followed before or after it. so, if you're going into this film expecting an explosion porn, you're most likely to get disappointed having to sit through 3 hours' worth of heavy dramatic dialogue involving moments of genuinely terrifying character development. the film is about the person whose most pivotal moment in life was the success of The Manhattan Project. getting to experience being inside that person's mind as he's trying to visualize all these things combined with an incredible score by Ludwig Göransson and watching all of these rated-R, 3-hour, dialogue-heavy, beautifully shot on film by the master himself Hoyte van Hoytema with black and white sequences in a fucking theatre made me feel like I wasn't in 2023. the performances are excellent. there really is no other word for it. from the top all the way down to the bottom of the incredibly huge cast list, there isn't a single weak link. Robert Downey Jr. is simply terrific. I haven't seen him like this since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which came all the way back in 2005. I love him as Iron Man but that's more about the character rather than him as an actor. I wouldn't be shocked if he's nominated for a best supporting actor performance. Emily Blunt is also just really really great. there is a sequence early on in the film where Oppenheimer is being questioned and she's just sitting back there in the scene, out of focus. we're not even shown a close-up of her during this entire sequence until it becomes relevant later on in the film and we go back to that sequence when we finally realise the significance of her being there. Nolan has done quite a lot of that in this film actually. major A-list actors are in the film for like 2 scenes and then they never appear again. that's not just a testament to the actors who'd give anything to be in a Nolan-directed film but a testament to Nolan himself, as a film-maker. if we go back to the same sequence I mentioned earlier with Blunt, that's not just anyone sitting there, it's Emily Blunt. a phenomenal actress. but that's what gives the film a sense of groundedness. that the people on-screen are actual people, they behave like people. and for a certain amount of time, allows those celebrities to feel like normal people. Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Jason Clarke, Dane DeHaan, I can go on and on but literally everyone is fucking phenomenal. the real star of the show though, is Cillian Murphy. in his first lead role for a Nolan film after having worked with him for almost 20 years, Murphy shines brighter than the atomic bomb itself and walks with suave leaving not just two, but a multitude of shockwaves. his work is beyond phenomenal here. he not only looks like Oppenheimer but every scene he's in, he's just instantly captivating. it's not just his incredible eyes (which go so deep that I just wanna sink myself in them) but, he's just always in character. never did I once see the guy from Red Eye or from Peaky Blinders. it was always Oppie. I'm actually putting this review as I listen to the absolutely bonkers score that has been provided for the film. Göransson's work is truly, awesome-tacularly, riveting. my heart was beating so fast in some sequences that have this heavy, beating sounds that I could almost have a seizure. the work here is truly remarkable. another aspect of this film that shines brighter than ever is its editing. this is a 3-hour film that feels like 2 and a half. a half-an-hour of time just evaporated for me. every scene ends perfectly. there is no room for baggage. several big moments of history fly away in an instant. this gives the film a really focused feel. it gives the audience a cue that this is not the story of the world but it is the story of Oppenheimer. Nolan really knows how to edit his films such that they have just the right runtime and I really appreciate when a film-maker does that. it very much also gives this film that documentary-esque aspect and gets you convinced that these events actually did happen and this is not just some made-up story about a man's life. this film is truly a marvelous achievement not just for Christopher Nolan himself as a filmmaker but for cinema as a whole. peak dramatic cinema. watch this on the biggest screen possible and the loudest speakers you can find.
excellent, a perfect example of true defined cinema At a whopping three hours long it, very much like LOTR, feels considerably less. A must watch
Well, with ten other reviews on this site, I am not going to give a blow-by-blow assessment of what I like or don’t like. I am sure other reviews have touched upon hinge I might point out. I will only say that I thought it a really good movie: smartly written and nicely acted. I had some trouble following details in places — not because of the complex time structure (though I admit prefer the straight ahead story style of, say, The Godfather) but rather because I couldn’t get volume up loud enough to hear when the characters spoke softly and/or quickly, and without captions I had to wait for the context of conversations to help fill in what I was missing. It was a shame to have such a little thing in the way of a good movie being great.
The movie is incredibly overrated and filled with unnecessary dramatized scenes, making it excessively long. It presents Oppenheimer as a cliche, portraying him as the world's smartest man who can learn a language in six weeks, accompanied by aggressively written advanced equations on a blackboard with a loud soundtrack. In my opinion, this film stands as Nolan's second worst movie, following Tenet. It embodies all his negative qualities, and its duration should not have exceeded 1 hour and 40 minutes, stretching unnecessarily to 3 hours.
The most inefficient telling of a story that I have ever experienced. Hugely unnecessary character development and unnecessary dramatisation. I only made it to halfway before dyeing of boredom... jumped forward a chunk... saw the president say that the Russians would never succeed in obtaining the atomic bomb (unsure as to what he based this on). The movie was a strong testament to how much the US feared penetration by communism... and the fact that the US fear themselves losing their grip on being 'the leaders of the free world' [a title that they have never deserved or earned]... and the fact that no one has learned anything from history and being in perpetual war. Truly a missed opportunity to tell this story in a way that would have any memorable meaning. No wonder the planet is doomed to self annihilation at the hands of the 1% (The love of money is the root of all evil).
I was actually looking forward to watch this movie. Unfortunately I have to say I was rather disappointed when the movie came to an end. One of the most impressive projects ever undertaken filled with scientifical challenges and performed under immense pressure. That is what the movie should have been all about. Unfortunately it is not. Instead all the science, challenges and achievements are just glossed over and we are feed three long, boring, hours about political machinations and his sex life. That is not what I was expecting and it is definitely not what I wanted to watch. Trust Hollywood to turn science into a bloody soap-like drama. Christopher Nolan is definitely not a person that should be tasked with making a science or history movie. His Dunkirk was underwhelming to say the least and Interstellar was both a poor movie and a joke when it came to science. I guess I should have lowered my expectations when I saw they gave the movie to him.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.firstshowing.net/2023/review-nolans-oppenheimer-is-a-harrowing-tale-of-one-mans-life/ "Oppenheimer is a true masterclass in how to build extreme tension and suspense through fast, detailed dialogue,...