With the recent hype around the film focusing more on the Oppenheimer vs. Barbie rivalry and less on the substance of Christopher Nolan’s latest, it was going to be interesting whether the story of the man who created the atomic bomb held up.
It quickly became apparent not only was it holding up, but it was some of Nolan’s best work.
The stand out throughout was the cinematic depiction of the theory of quantum physics, which not only made it easier to understand what Oppenheimer was talking about but was also beautiful to watch.
This was closely followed by the depiction of the eerie and terrifying reality of the political situation going on. The scene in which the US decided which Japanese cities to bomb was spine-tingling after politics had begun to seep into the story and Oppenheimer.
Cillian Murphy showed this transition and range of Robert Oppenheimer’s moral battles, internal and external, perfectly. The hearing scenes in particular were outstanding. If there were any doubts about Murphy’s ability to lead a Hollywood film before they have been quickly qualmed, with the word ‘Oscar’ already being whispered around critics.
Image credit – Warner Bros
Robert Downey Jr.’s performance was a pleasant reminder of his pre-Marvel days, that he can still give a real show. The whole supporting cast played their part well with nods to Matt Damon and subtly of Emily Blunt.
Florence Pugh’s appearance was brief and despite the steamy sex scenes (a first for Nolan), the character (Jean Tatlow) didn’t feel as important as they were trying to convey. The audience didn’t receive enough time with her to understand the relationship between her and Oppenheimer. Florence was convincing, but Jean was not.
Accompanying all of this was Ludwig Göransson’s score, a standalone masterpiece let alone with the visuals on the screen.
Without a doubt, Oppenheimer will be remembered past the Barbenheimer hype.
Featured Image Credit – Universal