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Oppenheimer explained (2023)

Like Oppenheimer (2023)?

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Reader Interactions


  1. I love your views especially the part where Arjuna’s faith is rewarded and Oppenheimer’s was not rewarded.

    • Thanks, Hazim!

  2. It was unclear to me how at the testimony hearing Rami Malek’s character knew all the dirt on Strauss and how he plotted against Oppie by getting the FBI files to the analyst.

    Even if Oppie told Malek’s character all this, how did Oppie know all of this? I must have missed something.

    • It’s unclear because it’s badly done lol. You missed nothing. There’s probably some random line of dialogue that we can point to and people will use that to defend how sloppy this is. But I don’t think add a single line is good enough when we’re talking about something that’s so pivotal. It’s legitimately one of the weirdest things Nolan has ever done.

  3. I really liked the Technical part of the movie. The decision of using Graphite instead of Deuterium (Heavy Water) as a moderator to capture neutrons was one such thing!!
    The need of a fission reaction to initiate a fusion reaction was one another.. the fusion reaction needs a very huge amount of energy for the hydrogen atoms to fuse together, which can be achieved mostly through fission only!! We need to achieve the temperature like the Sun’s surface to sustain a fusion reaction.

    I really wish to be a part of this movie club supporting in science based discussions!!

    • Yeah, it’s cool when movies lean into the details of the worlds they’re exploring. Like Phantom Thread giving me a bit of an education on tailoring.

      Do you have some other movies that you love for their science based discussions? It was one of my favorite aspects of The Martian.

      • A brilliant analysis of the movie, Oppenheimer! It definitely quieted many of my misgivings about the structural integrity of the narrative. A job really well done!
        After that, I would be an utter fool not to subscribe to your website (mind you, I have been called that, haha!). Thank you!

        PS. Have you ever scienced the shit out of anything? 😃

  4. The movie was really intense in detail, hadly even felt like 3 hours long.

    I have previously read the Wikipedia pages on the dropping of the bomb in the two cities/towns of Japan.

    Now to have heard the side of the creator of the actual bomb itself . I feel like I’m left in such a grey area, where my instinct is to assign blame on Oppenheimer but a part of me also feels for his tormented soul and feel like that is enough punishment.

    I feel very conflicted having read/seen both sides of the story.

    Your account and explanation is some consolation I believe in me trying to make sense of my own feelings about the biopic. Thank you.

    • Glad to have been able to contribute to you processing the movie! Thanks for sharing that!

  5. Being brand new here, it was quite a shock going from your impressive and ‘objective’ written analysis of Oppenheimer to your podcast, which was basically a hatchet job on the movie! And yet, who could object too much to such a well-presented, coherently supported critique of Christopher Nolan’s visual style? While I’m definitely not saying that I agree with you in detail, you have my admiration for the manner in which you grounded your negative views in your own filmic preferences. Once you do that, while I may decide to disagree, I cannot avoid offering the respect that is due to critics who are so clearly aware that analysis and judgement are separate activities (such a rare quality in film analysis these days).
    Regarding your focus on Nolan’s visual style (in the podcast):
    As I said, your critique was plausible and well-argued, but I did find myself becoming slightly weary towards the end of the first hour, when your comments seemed to be turning into a rant. Clearly, visual style is an important part of film making (and appreciation), but I have never fully subscribed to clichés such as, “film is [ie. only] a visual medium”, and “show it, don’t say it”. The truth (for me) is that film is a hybrid medium that also includes dialogue, voiceover narration, sound effects, music, etc, all of which (should) contribute to the overall impact of a movie. It is primarily for this reason that I have no issue with people talking to each other in films, or with people who deliver important narrative clues to help situate the viewer. This means that, at least at times, a film can function quite well by using straightforward visual techniques that have been part of cinema history almost since the beginning (eg, establishing shots, various kinds of close-up, etc). Perhaps I am wrong in thinking that you prize visual sophistication above every other feature in a movie, and I need a more nuanced appreciation of your critical approach, but Oppenheimer did feel like you did protest a bit too much in this area. 😉
    To conclude: yours is easily the most interesting and exciting movie analysis site I’ve come across in a very long time, and I love forward with great enthusiasm to devouring many more of your commentaries. 👍🏻

    *always a difficult word to use properly, hence the scare quotes.

    • Hey Frank! Thank you for the kind words. You’ve perfectly articulated what we strive to do: raise the bar for film criticism. Our goal is to be as “objective” as we can be (if that’s at all possible) in our definitive explanation to help people better understand the film. You don’t necessarily have to like a movie (as you heard on the podcast: we didn’t like Oppenheimer) in order to appreciate and better understand it. That kind of tension is good for our minds and heightens our ability to think more critically and constructively, and thus leads to better conversations about the power of art.

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