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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Oppenheimer

The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh & the rest of Hollywood.

‘Oppenheimer’, like ‘Barbie’ has been attached with one another and has become sort of a celebratory meme. But it’s important to note how extraordinary each are in their own right, but both are polar opposites. Christopher Nolan has proved once again that he is one of the greats with a jaw dropping, haunting, masterful epic.

What Cillian Murphy & Robert Downey Jr do here is nothing short of incredible. The feeling of doubt, regret & guilt from Oppenheimer is explored so wonderfully and terrifyingly that it creates such conflict within audiences whether we truly root for this man. Then, Downey comes along with this giant weight on his back as he asses all that has happened over the first 2 hours. Conflicted in his own feelings as he lays out his views on the intention behind the bomb, but the consequences. Both actors deliver their greatest work, which is certainly a high bar. Emily Blunt brings her A game with an emotionally conflicting and complex performance that wowed me towards the end. Her confidence and fear, guilt and regret hangs over her throughout most her scenes and it was thrilling to watch.

Ludwig Göransson quite possibly delivers HIS greatest work with a hauntingly powerful score that sent shivers down my spine. Accompanied by the heart thumping, mind shattering, ears ringing sound design that shook the cinema. Christopher Nolan with Hoyte Van Hoytema has become a masterful pairing, the cinematography & directing on display is some of their best work yet and they continue to push the boundaries on filmmaking with their extreme practicality and detailed storytelling.

Nolan’s script is as rich and detailed as it has ever been, providing some of his most heart wrenching dialogue scenes and powerful conclusive arcs for some of the most complex people in history. There is yet a flicker of light to diminish with Nolan’s filmography as every film and decision he makes is always a fresh, exciting and original one. His story structure is always one he likes to play around with and he does it again here, but pays off in the greatest of ways. While it may seem confusing, or messy for some audiences, I thought it was effective in communicating every emotion and the impact of all arcs and the big events of the film. The morality of science is one of the biggest themes present during the 2nd half of the film & it hammers it home perfectly. The conflict inside Oppenheimer is soul shattering.

Seeing the bomb go off in cinemas was an extraordinary moment and one I will never forget, begging me to go back to the cinema the next day to see it all again. Every performance is at the highest of standard, along with the extraordinary directing, editing, score and production design. Christopher Nolan has yet to slow down and is the most exciting director today because of this. Oppenheimer is an extraordinary film that you need to see to believe. It’s certainly long, but you never feel the pacing as it’s impending doom is built masterfully by Nolan that the film becomes somewhat of a horror film.

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