One of the movie events of the year, Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, opens in cinemas across South Africa today (21 July).
It is an IMAX-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.
It tells the story of the theoretical physicist who led the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bombs. It stars Cillian Murphy as J Robert Oppenheimer, Emily Blunt as his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, Matt Damon as General Leslie Groves Jr., the director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. as Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
Academy Award nominee Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie plays theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano plays Robert Serber and Josh Hartnett plays pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.
Oppenheimer also stars Oscar winner Rami Malek and reunites Nolan with eight-time Oscar nominated actor, writer and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh.
The cast includes Dane DeHaan (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), Dylan Arnold (Halloween franchise), David Krumholtz (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises).
The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. It is produced by Emma Thomas, Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan.
Oppenheimer is filmed in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography including, for the first time, sections in IMAX black and white analogue photography.
The film promises to be a gripping and thought-provoking exploration of Oppenheimer’s life and legacy. It is a complex and nuanced portrait of a man who was both a brilliant scientist and a deeply moral human being.
The story begins with Oppenheimer as a young man, full of idealism and hope. He is a brilliant student at Harvard University, and is drawn to the world of physics. He sees physics as a way to understand the universe and its workings, and believes that it can be used to solve the world’s problems.
The film follows Oppenheimer as he rises through the ranks of the physics world. He becomes a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and is eventually recruited to work on the Manhattan Project. As the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he leads a team of brilliant scientists in the development of the atomic bomb.
The film explores the moral implications of Oppenheimer’s work. As he sees the power of the bomb, he begins to have doubts about its use and is haunted by the thought of the destruction that the bomb could cause. He eventually becomes a vocal critic of nuclear weapons.
THe is a complex and fascinating figure, and his story is a reminder of the power of science, the importance of ethics, and the danger of nuclear weapons.
The film is Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious to date, and it is already being hailed as one of his best.
Nolan’s films, including Tenet, Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy, have earned more than $5-billion at the global box office and have been awarded 11 Oscars and 36 nominations, including two Best Picture nominations.
It may be a well-told story, but the movie builds up the story in a way that keeps the viewer engrossed:
* It uses flashbacks to show Oppenheimer’s early life and education, which helps to explain his motivations and beliefs.
* It follows him as he rises through the ranks of the physics world, which gives us a sense of his ambition and drive.
* It shows him working on the Manhattan Project, which allows us to see the scientific and logistical challenges that he faced.
* It explores the moral implications of his work, which shows us the conflict that he was struggling with.