September 8 – 14
September 8 – 14
7 pm Nightly
Sunday Matinee @ 1:30 pm
Rated 14A — 2 hr 57 min
Drama / Thriller
Christopher Nolan’s complex, vivid portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb,” is a brilliant achievement in formal and conceptual terms. Bleak and beautiful, Oppenheimer tells us about our apocalyptic future and pulls no punches in its fatalistic look at nuclear age. A drama about genius, hubris and error, both individual and collective, it brilliantly charts the turbulent life of the American theoretical physicist who helped research and develop the two atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II — cataclysms that helped usher in our human-dominated age.
The events in the film are impressively faithful to history, with Nolan moving back and forth in time, on either side of the historic 1945 firebreak. We’re presented Oppenheimer’s beginnings as a young scientist, lonely and unhappy, electrified by the new developments in quantum mechanics – the young leftist who never became a Communist party member but whose anti-fascism galvanised his desire to develop the bomb before the Nazis could, directing the work of hundreds of scientists. Cillian Murphy is an eerily close lookalike for Oppenheimer with his trademark hat and pipe, and is very good at capturing his sense of solitude and emotional imprisonment, in an Oscar-worthy performance.
The main event in the film is that terrifying first demonstration: The Trinity nuclear test in the New Mexico desert in July 1945, when Oppenheimer is said to have silently pondered (and later intoned on TV) Vishnu’s lines from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds …” As Nolan reminds us, the world quickly moved on from the horrors of the war to embrace the bomb. Now we, too, have become death, the destroyers of worlds.
Cillian Murphy as the title character, Emily Blunt as his wife, “Kitty”, Matt Damon as head of the Manhattan Project Leslie Groves, Robert Downey Jr. as U.S. Atomic Energy Commission member Lewis Strauss, and Florence Pugh as Communist Party USA member Jean Tatlock. The ensemble supporting cast includes Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh.