Sunday, July 14, 2024

“Oppenheimer” Hits the Mark and Deserves All Its Hype

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” deserves all of its hype. A three-hour cinematic tour de force that’s mentally and visually stimulating, you may need a moment to decompress (or a stiff whiskey!) after this one.

“Oppenheimer” is a gripping retelling of the weight of genius and the consequences of scientific discovery — and at the heart of it all lies Cillian Murphy. Murphy’s portrayal of Robert Oppenheimer could be a one-man show in and of itself, though the stellar supporting cast provides needed moments of brevity, gallows humor, and perspective on a still-divisive historical moment. While there is both typical Nolan flair for the grandiose and “Peaky Blinders”-esque swagger littered throughout “Oppenheimer,” the film never loses sight of the man who was praised while his brilliance was an asset for wartime, and delegitimized after the atomic bombs were released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Murphy luminously plays out Oppenheimer’s ethical conundrum: How is one meant to cope after their innovation unleashes devastation? In what feels like three acts, “Oppenheimer” explores the unfolding of the brilliance that led to him becoming the Father of the Atomic Bomb, his hand in the foundation of the American school of theoretical physics, and his role in developing one of mankind’s deadliest weapons. And with appearances from Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and Lewis Strauss, there is no shortage of historical figures in combination with sad truths. The harshest being Oppenheimer and his team’s harrowing feelings as they realize the weight of their own hands’ doing and their sheepish desire to revert it…or at least not openly state their opposition. Oppenheimer’s haunting words, “‘And now I have become death. Destroyer of worlds,’” particularly resonate as a chilling sequence of worldwide destruction unfolds at the film’s end.

“Oppenheimer” offers a glimpse into the camaraderie and rivalry amongst the brightest minds of the era. Photo: Universal Pictures

Amidst this, Nolan seamlessly weaves chaos with silence into his scenes, accentuated by Emily Blunt (Kitty Oppenheimer) and Florence Pugh (Jean Tatlock). Two of the few female standouts in “Oppenheimer,” Blunt and Pugh leave nothing to be desired: they hit the mark with candor and often act as Oppenheimer’s guiding forces despite their own heavy-drinking or uncertainties. Their complicated relationships offer an intricate look at who Oppenheimer may have leaned on as ironclad bonds while the theoretical bonds he worked on lay up in the air.

For history and film fanatics in general, “Oppenheimer” hits all the marks. From its tense dialogue to its character arcs and pulsating nerves, this film is sure to be talked about for months to come.

Movie Times: Click Here

Genre: History, Thriller, Drama

Director: Christopher Nolan

Actors: Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Gary Oldman

Run Time: 3 hours

Rating: R for Some Sexuality, Nudity, Language

Caroline Minchella
Caroline Minchella
Caroline was 15 years old when her family moved to Coronado. Though she was a “transplant”, Caroline found a home in the Coronado community near-immediately: she became an intern for “The Coronado Times”; helped reinstate the CHS newspaper, “The Islander Times”; was a volunteer dog-walker for PAWS; and a faithful Concert in the Park attendee.After completing her BA in English at the University of California Santa Barbara, she went on to craft answers for Amazon Alexa devices and write creatively on the side. Fast forward seven years, Caroline is thrilled to return as a Reporter for “The Coronado Times.” Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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