The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer is a rather complex one. On the one hand, he was one of the most brilliant physicists of our time, but he is also the primary person responsible for the invention of nuclear weapons. Based on the Oppenheimer biography, “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” writer/director Christopher Nolan delivers a phenomenal biopic that examines the physicist’s life and career and offers a dense and complicated character study of the man who had an incredible mind. Utilizing all of his talents and skills, along with the gifts of his usual collaborators, Oppenheimer is Nolan’s best movie so far and is sure to be a classic film studied for decades.
Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a masterful theoretical physicist whose main desire is to accomplish what humanity has never previously performed. The film follows the scientist’s various experiences in his life and career. He craved further knowledge to achieve much more in the world of physics. The movie examines his work on the atomic bomb and the aftermath of his success. The film reveals Oppenheimer’s strengths and his vulnerable weaknesses and limitations, mainly when the American government was willing to turn its back on him when the “Red Scare” plagued our nation.
Honestly, I could not think of a better synopsis to describe all that this fantastic film offers. However, saying any more would be a great disservice because this tremendous movie deserves to be experienced with few spoilers. As far as the story is concerned, Nolan has written an excellent screenplay that develops not only his protagonist superbly but also the others with whom Oppenheimer had an indelible impact. As expected, visually and aesthetically, Nolan’s movie is an awe-inspiring experience.
Nolan and his crew’s use of IMAX cameras, with the superb work by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, gives the audience an eyeful of some of the most gorgeous filmmaking ever presented to humanity. In addition, the stunning and tremendous score by Ludwig Göransson enhances the experience even further. Nolan and his team are master filmmakers at the top of their game here, and the results are astounding.
However, the visuals and audibles are only a part of the experience. This movie’s genuine heart and passion come from the actors’ interpretations of their characters, and this cast is so wonderfully stacked with talented players. In my review of Asteroid City, I believe that it seems like every actor wants to be in a Wes Anderson movie. The same is true about Nolan’s films. There are so many fantastic actors in this movie that I was happy to see them appear.
The real standouts are Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh. It is lovely to see these gifted actors give their A-games to this movie; we, the audience, are all the better for it. However, if I were to predict who will get nominated for multiple accolades, I would bet on Murphy, Downey, Jr., and Blunt. Every one of these actors portrays their characters beautifully and tremendously.
So, if I haven’t already made myself clear enough, Oppenheimer has now risen to the top of my number-one favorite movie of the year. It is a phenomenal cinematic experience that deserves much praise and financial gain. I mention financial gain because, in recent months, theatrical releases have been struggling to break even. The eventual promise of streaming opportunities and early physical media sales have hindered the revenues that theaters used to deliver. This development, and the fact that movies are not exactly what they used to be, have taken their toll on the box office in recent years. Oppenheimer is that one modern, rare film that deserves its time at the cinema, and I sincerely hope that people line up in droves to witness its magic.