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Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

‘Oppenheimer’ – a can’t miss movie for true fans

Cillian Murphy stars as the title character in director Christopher Nolan’s latest film, “Oppenheimer.”                                                        Photos Courtesy/Universal Pictures

“Oppenheimer” is my event movie of the summer. I couldn’t care less about superhero shenanigans in the fictional world. Part of the reason it’s my event movie is that it’s directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, a five-time Oscar nominee known for “Tenet,” “Dunkirk” and three recent Batman adventures.

Cillian Murphy (“28 Days Later,” “Inception”) is perfect as J. Robert Oppenheimer, who deals with his own battles and demons as well as “the bomb.” Murphy embodies the character completely. As leader of the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb during World War II, he has flashes of kinetic energy in his head. He’s an extrovert and introvert and married to Kitty (Emily Blunt), although he has wandering eyes.

Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt star in “Oppenheimer.”

The pacing is very slow, but if you stick with “Oppenheimer” for the full three hours it’s a very rewarding movie experience. This based-on-truth story keeps you pulled into the plot. Just know that this true-life tale must be seen in a movie theater for full enjoyment. It also has great cinematography throughout.

Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Sherlock Holmes”) is awesome and perhaps a future Academy Award nominee as Lewis Strauss, a jealous and vindictive colleague who’s kind of a jerk. Strauss plots to discredit Oppenheimer because of his own sheer jealousy.

It’s the age of the Army-Joseph McCarthy hearings in 1954 and Oppenheimer gets chastised for attending a Communist Party meeting. Oppenheimer and Isidor Rabi (David Krumholtz) are colleagues and friends. Murphy and Krumholtz (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) bring their friendship to the screen flawlessly.

The plot involves a struggle between Oppenheimer and U.S. government officials over what’s going to happen with said device. Part of the problem is that there’s Los Alamos, an inhabited factory town to deal with in the middle of the New Mexico desert where much of the plot unfolds.

Benny Safdie plays physicist Edward Teller.

“Oppenheimer” contains an exceptional thematic score by Ludwig Göransson, who won an Oscar for his “Black Panther” score in 2019.

This is a cinematic experience that can’t be missed for true movie fans.

Grade: A

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