Oppenheimer explodes on the big screen

Thu. July 20, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Oppenheimer is the true story of Julius Robert Oppenheimer and his nuclear weapon projects based on the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

The “father of the atomic bomb” brings his baby to life after having major accomplishments including teaching a physics department at the University of California and a few setbacks personally. The movie depicts his private and professional relationships over the years warts and all. This multidimensional character study is shown both in color and black and white over the course of 180 minutes.

Cillian Murphy not only resembles Oppenheimer but those piercing blue eyes tell a whole story all on their own. Oppenheimer marks the sixth time Murphy has collaborated with director Christopher Nolan and the results are a fully nuanced leading role full of confidence.

Matt Damon is a pistol straight out of the starting gate as Leslie Groves and Robert Downey Jr. will surely take home trophies for his portrayal of Lewis Strauss. Both of them plus Emily Blunt took pay cuts to be in Oppenheimer and that might pay off come awards season.

The running time will be a lesson in patience for theatergoers and the attention spans of the 2023 population are shorter than ever. A miniseries to watch at home could have served the Big O well. Nolan seems cursed with pandemic challenges for Tenet and now a strike with Oppenheimer. This work is exemplary and the British filmmaker's non-linear approach deserves to be celebrated.

July is an unusual time to release an awards contender and everyone knows Oscar loves a true story about a deceased well-known person. Comparing Oppenheimer to Barbie because they debut in theaters on the same day is silly. The audiences that will come out to see these big-budget features are not the same and the war between the two needs to end peacefully once and for all.

This simply shows that there is something for everyone in the summer of 2023, so let's enjoy these current offerings while we can as released dates are soon going to be pushed forward until an agreement can be reached civilly between all parties behind the scenes.

Oppenheimer opens on July 21, 2023. Visit for more on this intriguing tale exploding on the screen.