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+: cast: all are on fire: Casey Affleck and Gary Oldman
need just one scene to be remebered;
Hartnett, Conti and De Haan also great in addition to the five on the posters which are all obviously great.
+: jen lame
+: Nolan dealing with politics (and syndication a lot!)
+: some of the most artsy scene from Nolan
+: haven't read the book but felt incredibly true to history
-: supporting casts not developped enough
to create strong emotion arc through it (especially Blunt and Pugh, who I hoped would have more to chew on, especially since they have some of the most emotional moments)
-:liked th third act, but
expected the trinity test to happen later in the film, third act is definitely a crazy challenge Nolan has set for himself, and he (with the help of Lame's editing succeeds, but it's still surprising to try have the climax of the main plot at the end of the second act)
Please noms for Lame, RDJ, Murphy, Nolan
Edit: forgot to mention that Jason Clarke is a strong highlight.
I was able to see a 70mm showing last night for press at the Dallas NorthPark Mall AMC. First of all, before even dealing with the film, I regret to inform you that some of these theaters are likely to struggle with the projection. Our showing lost focus twice and then had a weird ghosting moment.
I won't quite know how to fully react to this film until I see it multiple more times, and that's what this picture is going to demand. I would say that here, on the eve of this wide release, I am grateful the critics have loved it, but I am wondering how it will land with the wider public. And here is why:
A number of people expect this film to be a giant big action blockbuster with a huge 'splosion.
It isn't. And it is.
My word that kept coming to mind with this film was "delicate" and "restrained". Nolan puts his head into the most character centered work he's ever done here. And what is MOST interesting about this film based on my first take is what you don't see.
You don't see Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But... you do endure them.
You don't see with clarity what happens to Jean Tatlock. But you do feel it.
You don't see how Oppie womanizes, overshadows, or overlooks those around him. But you do see the repurcussions.
And that is what this film is about, really - repurcussion.
Listening to the chit chat as people left - a lot of the average film goer audience members were overwhelmed and caught off guard. I think I'd measure that they were hoping for Dunkirk. What they got is much closer to Memento or The Prestige. I don't know if the public is ready for this film? We will find out.
What also I will add is that these folks doing an Oppenheimer/Barbie double feature... that's a LOT. A LOT to think about with Oppie - so much and too much.
I went to bed about an hour and half after the screening. I woke up 3 hours into my sleep thinking about this movie. That has not really happened to me with a Nolan picture since Inception, (and I do love all of them). And what I was thinking about was that bomb going off, and the terror of it. And that's where this "oh it's a horror film" thing kind of plays a role. It has some truly horrifying elements (quite literally, I jumped a couple of times and definitely found a sense of despair in the film). But it's moreso that I was truly awoken to this thought of how fragile life is. That woke me up in the middle of the night. And it made me very sad.
I can't post this all without making a quick comment on the "sex" scene.
Nolan's films, despite everyone's bullshit, are NOT sexless. Maybe there isn't direct fucking, but the characters are particularly grounded in their bodies, and we see a lot of sexuality through a Nolan lens: Think the suit game in Inception (fuck, Tom Hardy in Inception), or Anne Hathaway's slinky Selina Kyle, or Christian Bale's whispery narration in The Prestige. But in Oppenheimer, yeah...there is fucking. It is not 15 minutes of fucking, like some weird internet rumor that's circulating. But it is there. But what Nolan chooses to do with this is maybe one of the most unique ways I've seen sex utilized in storytelling. First, the sex between Oppie and Jean (Florence Pugh) ties them to humanity. Both of them are floating around, crashing into other people, much like the atoms in Oppie's bomb. Destructing. Together...they are exceptionally destructive to each other. Oppie loves her maybe, but he can't help but also be unavailable and unreliable in this space. She doesn't seem to love him, but she needs his energy, and his engagement. Nolan stages these scenes to be antiseptic, but also full of desperation. In the end, I wound up thinking about them a lot. Not because they are erotic - but because they seemed absolutely key to understanding Oppenheimer's inability to wrestle with what it means to be human on a personal level, just as he later wrestles with it on a grander scale.
That's where I'll leave it for now. I wanted to be brief but I'm not sure I stuck to that. Overall, it's 5/5 stars for me.
You can tell more than ever that Nolan was at peak confidence when directing this. Most probably his best third act. In my opinion, the best thing Nolan has done.
Everything after the trinity test is just peak.
Murphy and RDJ are obliviously standouts. The cinematography was just so immersive. My only problem is the that the music overbears the dialogue, and dialogue hard to hear sometimes, but maybe that's my cinema problem.
tentatively 8.5/10. i liked it. third act is strong and the best of the film imo, though i can see why many people have problems with it: it’s very fast paced and dense, has heavy court room drama vibes.
striking performances across the board, even outside of the main cast. cillian murphy, robert downey jr, emily blunt are amazing as expected, but i want to give a shout out to actors in minor roles that i thought were highlights: jason clark, dan dehaan, benny safdie. tom conti as einstein was so endearing too.
as said before the movie is extremely packed and scenes go by quickly. i think that approach was great for the third act but the rest of the movie can benefit more from a slower pace direction that allows scenes to linger a little longer? but again that would probably make the movie over 4.5 hours and i’m not sure i want that either
goransson score is majestic although i think tenet is the better work of his (but for reference i think tenet is the best score in a nolan film so i don’t think that is a very meaningful comparison lol).
in short, great movie. i’m definitely going to see it again to appreciate it more properly.
Saw it a few hours ago and to echo everyone else it's a lot, in a good way.
This is a Nolan film through and through (cinematography is beautiful, editing is sharp, sound is often super interesting and the score is amazing as expected), but I found it be his most adult work yet which feels fresh in relation to his previous films, while also being adventurous and surprisingly experimental - the quick inserts of Oppenheimer's imagination throughout the film really worked for me.
The acting in Nolan's films has always been great but this one - damn. Cillian is phenomenal here as is Robert Downey Jr and I also have to give Emily Blunt a special mention - her big scene in the third act was awesome. Wish there was more Florence Pugh but she was obviously great too.
The first time watching a Nolan film is often overwhelming for me and can leave me with some conflicted thoughts. So to my surprise I found this to be one of his most direct films in a while (still a Nolan film though, so expect a lot of cross cutting and time jumping), but it's a dense story with a lot of characters - so to me at least, the hardest part came with trying to follow who is who.
There's so much to say, but still trying to process it all. Couldn't possibly give a definitive rating right now, but I'm feeling a strong 8-9 for now. Planning on watching it again soon.
Also, shamefully this was my first time watching a Nolan film on IMAX (not from the US, not as easily accessible) but it was an awesome experience.
If "The Prestige" and "The Social Network" had a great evening with a lot of cocaine that 9 months later led to a beautiful baby called "Oppenheimer".
Man what a ride - definitely in my top 4 Nolan-Films.
Like everyone else already said: Incredibly dense, fast paced, experimental, stellar performances (especially Murphy, RDJ and Blunt) and my favorite part: Jen Lames editing. I think after Murphys and RDJ noms her nom for editing is the most certain.
When Oppie addresses the whole Los Alomos team inside after the successful test and he has visions of burned bodies and other effects of the bombings.
10 times more effective than showing the bombings or their impact on Japan from their POV.
Definitely one my favorite Nolan endings.
My one small criticism:
The hearings are not "too much" but maybe "too much at once" because at the first viewing with all the awe that surrounds a Nolan-Premiere it can be hard to follow. Like I said "The Social Network" on steroids.
That's why it's maybe THE Nolan film that gets better after every new viewing.
Cinephiles, old school film fanatics and filmmakers will get an absolute kick out of this but I think with the general audience it will play out the same as with "Dunkirk"
90+ from critics and 80+ from the public.