AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: The Snubs Heard Round the BARBIE Dreamhouse Bubble – Thelma Adams Reports

I empathize with the director’s need to come from her heart. I honor the genuine disappointment that Gerwig and her star Robbie might have experienced after riding their wave of hype and success. Still, let’s insert a little context here. Barbie, despite its eight Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Actress (America Ferrara), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and two Best Songs, is not your typical Oscar-winner.

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OPPENHEIMER – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

In a way, Christopher Nolan’s three-hour, shot-in-IMAX historical docudrama epic entitled Oppenheimer isn’t really about J. Robert Oppenheimer at all. Yes, even though it’s full of extreme closeups of the anguished scientist and much figurative rending of garments over his role in the creation of our modern world in which an atomic sword of Damocles hangs over us all.

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OPPENHEIMER – Review by Susan Granger

Admittedly complicated and confusing, its solemn concept melds science with drama, fusion with fission, and a multitude of characters with 20th century history, chronicled by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema in IMAX 70-millimeter. While the non-linear plot involves creating a top-secret coalition of scientists to build an atomic bomb, it also explores dense themes of coercion, Communism, and collective vision. At its center is soft-spoken theorist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he often conversed with eminent Albert Einstein (Tom Conti) about quantum physics.

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BARBENHEIMER Rules: Conflating BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER – Pam Grady Comments

There are places where the two films intersect, making Barbenheimer less ridiculous than the memes suggest: Both Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and Barbie (Margot Robbie) are midcentury icons, Oppenheimer as the father of the atomic bomb that forever changed the way humans live in the world, and Barbie as the doll that broke the mold, freeing little girls from the tyranny of baby dolls and forever changing the way children play with dolls.

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OPPENHEIMER – Review by Rachel West

Nolan pieces the film together out of chronological order, sometimes whipping between pre- and post-bomb at a clip, switching from colour to black-and-white. It doesn’t make the narrative hard to follow, but the frequent cutting doesn’t give scenes enough time to breathe, lessening their impact on the audience. The climax of the film is undoubtedly the desert Trinity test of the bomb capabilities. Arriving at around the two-hour mark, what makes this whole sequence of events stand out is that Nolan gives it time to build tension and unfold in front of the audience instead of time-hopping to the next scene.

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OPPENHEIMER – Review by T.J. Callahan

“There’s a price to be paid to see beyond the world we live”, and J. Robert Oppenheimer certainly spent a lot. Based on the book, American Prometheus, writer/director Christopher Nolan’s three hour sweeping saga of science and self-importance is three movies in one. The first hour is Oppenheimer’s story. Where he came from and what kind of man he was. The second hour is all about building a deadly explosive device from conception to detonation. The third hour is the effects and affects of dropping the Atomic Bomb on an unprepared world. So you can call Oppenheimer a biography, an historical thriller and a psychological drama. Where Nolan misses the mark is letting the film jump around without fully identifying all the characters. It’s also not bombastic enough (pun intended) for the average movie goer. Oppenheimer is more theoretical than theatrical. In other words, there’s not a lot of action. Sparks don’t really fly till the last act.

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OPPENHEIMER – Review by Susan Kamyab

It’s just early summer and we already have a strong Oscar contender with Christopher Nolan’s new historical drama. I will say, I haven’t been a fan of Nolan’s last three films – Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Tenet were just too convoluted, boring, and loud. However, I am pleased to say, Oppenheimer is one the director’s best films to date. Oppenheimer is a poignant and engaging character study revolving around a true story that all audiences must-see.

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TENET – Review by Susan Granger

Even the best filmmakers make colossal blunders, and this comes from Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy). A $200+ million mistake on top of a miscalculation. In the midst of the pandemic, Nolan insisted that his sprawling, unfathomable sci-fi action-adventure be released in multiplexes despite the fact that people are more susceptible to the coronavirus when congregating indoors.

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TENET – Review by Leslie Combemale

Fans of writer/director Christopher Nolan are not strangers to bent time, trippy constructs in physics, or highbrow filmmaking. Unfortunately, all that wizardry can’t make up for the lack of character development and mental gymnastics required to buy into and stick with the story of Tenet.

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INTERSTELLAR – Review by Susan Granger

Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and consultations with eminent theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, writer/director Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan have conceived a metaphysical conclusion that’s comparably bewildering. Inventively designed by Nathan Crowley and magnificently photographed by Hoyte Van Hoytema, the film’s emotional effectiveness is heightened by Hans Zimmer’s fantastic score. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Interstellar” is an audaciously ambitious, awesome 8, reflecting Nolan’s belief that humans are destined to explore the universe. Read on…

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