Oppenheimer ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

the movie felt like a mess of different parts that don't really fit together neatly, so here's my list-of-points review that replicates its form:

– christopher nolan's Elvis (2022)

– the thrilling story of Robert J. Oppenheimer's security clearance being renewed, with some stuff about making a bomb also

– a lot of things (like how closeups were used) seemed so IMAX-optimized that seeing it normally made the film frankly feel a little weightless. there's certainly an argument for saying that i watched it Wrong and that my conclusions are dishonest, but at the same time, i feel like it did not have to be this reliant on that aspect. an image can make you feel something without being displayed on a premium screen. also sorry chris but there's only one IMAX in the area where i live and it's owned by the evil chain and i was already seeing Barbie at this other theater

– good sound design though, and the score was also nice

– in terms of structure and pacing, it felt all over the place. how the hearings were used to frame the bomb story (which they eventually replaced as the main plotline before the film briefly circled back for the finale) was not terribly elegant. while the detonation was not a particularly striking visual experience, i really appreciated it because of how the pacing slowed down and the film focused on doing this one thing instead of throwing around stuff for its three separate plotlines.

– the color thing was definitely just a gimmick, apart from providing a little bit of visual clarity in how it was easier to tell which plotline scenes belonged to. the (very few) uses of cinematic subjectivity were so obvious and telegraphed that it was pretty superfluous as an indicator of that

– the dialogue felt very weak, probably mostly because the incoherent structure mandated nearly everything being direct exposition. and the quips mostly didn't land

– as a psychological portrait of Robert J. Oppenheimer, it did not feel terribly compelling. a lot is said about him, but the character work felt pretty weak especially when it concerned the women in his life; the wife was pretty much a non-character

anyway that's the review, thanks for reading

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