starring Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh
written and directed by Christopher Nolan
by Walter Chaw Stolid, classical in form, stately in a way some would say is boring yet so precisely parcelled out in perfectly measured, oppressively scored, bite-sized mic-drop morsels that it holds one's interest whether one is interested or not, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is indisputably well-made and certainly well-intended. If it's not entirely unlike an amalgam of A Beautiful Mind and The Imitation Game, well, there you have it. As Oppenheimer ploughs no new furrows in the biopic game, what's left to ponder is whether the story of the father of the atomic bomb is told with enough nuance and ambiguity to justify its declarative urgency, its...what is it? Self-satisfaction? Or, failing that, whether it has enough ticking-timebomb doomsday urgency to cut through the curtain of unjustifiably-pleased-with-itself-and-let-me-explain-to-you-why-with-an-unreasonable-amount-of-exposition that suffocates so much of Nolan's recent work. I mean, it's good, don't get me wrong, but it's neither novel nor mind-breaking--neither Mishima nor JFK. In the end, I'm not entirely convinced it's much more than strong yeoman's work bolstered by predictably fine performances from a prestigious cast hired to do what they always do.