Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Jason Clarke, Benny Safdie, Alden Ehrenreich, Scott Grimes, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh
Written By: Christopher Nolan
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Universal Studios
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Christopher Nolan’s latest movie is like if 12 Angry Men had the music of Interstellar playing over the top of it. Of course there’s more to it than that, along with an excellent cast, screenplay and direction.
The movie is about American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb” for leading the project & test for the first nuclear bomb in WWII. Nolan crafts the story about his early studies, and being picked to work on the first nuclear bomb with the military before the Nazis do, to his security hearings and falling out with the American public.
I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan’s movies but wasn’t a fan of Tenet. Thankfully he rebounds to another excellent piece of cinema. Sure, there’s still a chaotic, non-linear style of filmmaking and storytelling here but it’s more coherent and less confusing. I still found myself having to read about the movie afterwards because some things didn’t make sense at first. It’s definitely the type of movie that you could watch again and pick up new things.
For some clever reason, everyone wanted to see Barbie and Oppenheimer together and it became this phenomenon this summer. Whatever it was, it worked. I didn’t get around to seeing either movie until now. Well, I still haven’t seen Barbie yet. Oppenheimer is a long movie but never really feels like it. Maybe it’s because I split the viewing into 2 days but I could have watched the whole thing through if I started earlier in the night.
Everything about this movie just screams Oscars. The expanded cast and stellar performances from Murphy and Downey Jr, the screenplay, the score, the cinematography and more. The score and editing makes everything so TENSE and chaotic. Nolan really pinpoints what an anxiety attack really feels like since Oppenheimer has a few in the movie. Definitely felt accurate to me, although I never envisioned people’s skin melting off. The later scenes are where I’m poking fun of 12 Angry Men and Interstellar music because with the security hearings, it was just this back and forth and made things more tense than they really were.
Like with most special features with most movies, the special features are left on the Blu-Ray disc that comes with this set. Christopher Nolan always has great behind the scenes stuff with his movies. With Tenet, it was the backwards action and stunts, with this movie it was re-creating the Trinity Test and shooting black & white in IMAX. Watching these featurettes is a high bar for other filmmakers for their home video releases. How much detail goes into making this movie is shown here including building the Los Alamos, New Mexico town, re-creating the test, to even just filming in such a small awkward room for many days. I liked watching the featurettes on cinematography and design. The 7 part featurette is worthy of watching because they go into such detail in over an hour or so.
Oppenheimer is a long movie but never feels like it. The cast is excellent, and just about everything about it is amazing. Cillian Murphy should be seeing Oscar nominations, along with Robert Downey Jr. The cinematography was top notch as always from Hoyte van Hoytema. Ludwig Göransson’s score makes the movie beyond tense and it’s something that can be listened to by itself. Nolan continues to raise the bar with filmmaking but I kind of wish he would just tell a story that wasn’t non-linear and not confusing sometimes.
The Story of Our Time: The Making of Oppenheimer
Innovations in Film: 65MM Black and White Film in Oppenheimer
Meet the Press Q&A Panel
To End All War: Oppenheimer & The Atomic Bomb
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, 2.20:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.20:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Bottom Line: Nolan’s latest is an excellent piece of filmmaking
Running Time: 180 mins