‘A spectacular achievement’: first reactions praise Oppenheimer – The Guardian

Christopher Nolan’s $100m epic, out 21 July in the US, has premiered to acclaim with some calling it his finest film to date
Christopher Nolan’s epic drama Oppenheimer has received a string of positive notices after a Paris premiere.
The film, with a budget of $100m, stars Cillian Murphy as J Robert Oppenheimer, seen as the “father of the atomic bomb”. The cast also includes Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh and Robert Downey Jr.
Vulture critic Bilge Ebiri has called the film “incredible”, tweeting that it’s a “relentlessly paced, insanely detailed, intricate historical drama that builds and builds and builds until Nolan brings the hammer down in the most astonishing, shattering way”.
Associated Press writer Lindsey Bahr tweeted that the three-hour film is “a spectacular achievement, in its truthful, concise adaptation, inventive storytelling and nuanced performances”. She also called it “a serious, philosophical, adult drama that’s as tense and exciting as Dunkirk”.
The Los Angeles Times film editor, Joshua Rothkopf, has also called it “incredible” while critic Kenneth Turan described it as Nolan’s “most impressive film to date”. MTV’s Joshua Horowitz tweeted: “Impeccable immersive filmmaking of the highest order. Cillian Murphy gets the role he deserves. In love with Downey’s work. This one demands your attention.”
Oppenheimer is currently tracking to open to $40-50m in its US debut on 21 July but faces stiff competition from Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which opens on the same day.
It marks Nolan’s first film for Universal Pictures after parting ways with Warner Bros. The new deal reportedly comes with a number of specific demands such as a theatrical window of at least 100 days before any form of digital release and a three-week period before the studio releases another film.
“It feels sometimes like a biopic, sometimes like a thriller, sometimes like a horror,” Murphy said to the Guardian. “It’s going to knock people out.”
In an interview with Wired, Nolan said: “Some people leave the movie absolutely devastated. They can’t speak. I mean, there’s an element of fear that’s there in the history and there in the underpinnings. But the love of the characters, the love of the relationships, is as strong as I’ve ever done.”







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