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🍿 Oppenheimer (2023) was a *good* movie, but…

  1. It wasn’t the movie I wanted to see. The best, most dramatic parts, the ones that people (where by “people” I mean myself) actually cared for were in Los Alamos and centered around the atomic bomb. So Nolan chose the wrong book to make into a movie: it is all about the bomb, not the man.
  2. Or, if you are to be so anthropocentric, why make it about only one man? The Manhattan project featured so many colorful, smart, obnoxious characters that it would have been the perfect ensemble movie. Have Wes Anderson do it (although, yes, he kind of did). Have Aaron Sorkin do it! Because Nolan will inevitably turn everything he touches into a puzzle box, and…
  3. this time, his puzzle is pretty puny. There is a moment near the end of the second act which felt like a parody of an M. Night Shyamalan twist. “I knew it, it was X all along”, she screams and throws her glass on the floor in a culmination of… nothing much, actually. Because what is revealed was obvious, and there is nothing leading up to that moment that would make you think anyone was even paying attention to some milquetoast backdoor machinations. It felt like a piece of film got lost on the cutting room floor. Maybe that’s the twist?
  4. Hans Zimmer was not involved in the making of the score, though you could have fooled me. Having a movie set in the 1930s through the 1960s feature only the migraine-inducing synthetic throb of Gotham’s best instead of some period music, even during the (many) party scenes, was a choice for choice’s sake and a stupid one at that.
  5. To be clear, the cinematography is wonderful, the casting of Mr. and Mrs. Oppenheimer perfect, and dear oh dear wasn’t that scene with Gary Oldman just marvelous? They deserve all the praise and awards they will likely get, if the juries still remember them by the time the awards season comes because there are at least two more potentially great movies to watch out for. What a great time for cinema.

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