Oppenheimer – need to know

Some vital stats and facts about Oppenheimer, the new film by Christopher Nolan about the man who oversaw the first atomic bomb.

What’s this?

As per the official Universal blurb: Oppenheimer is an IMAX-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.

I don’t get it … who’s ‘the enigmatic man?

J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) was an American theoretical physicist director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in the 1940s during development of the atomic bomb. You can read his full bio in Britannica online.

Who’s in it?

Cillian Murphy stars as J Robert Oppenheimer, and Emily Blunt as his wife Katherine. Also stars Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh and Florence Pugh.

Who directs?

British director Christopher Nolan of Tenet, Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises fame …

What’s the classification?

Oppenheimer is officially rated R, Nolan’s first film to earn the rating since 2002’s Insomnia.

How long is it?

Go to the loo first (and wash your hands) … Oppenheimer clocks in at just under three hours.

Must have been pricey to make?

The film – which recreated real explosions rather than presenting CGI versions – had a budget of $100 million, which is chump change compared to the budget of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning part one.

Why is some of it black and white and some colour?

Speaking to Associated Press recently, Nolan said:

“I knew that I had two timelines that we were running in the film,” Nolan said. “One is in color, and that’s Oppenheimer’s subjective experience. That’s the bulk of the film. Then the other is a black and white timeline. It’s a more objective view of his story from a different character’s point of view.

“We shot a lot of our hair and makeup tests using black and white. And then we would go to the IMAX film projector at CityWalk and project it there. I’ve just never seen anything like it. To see such a massive black and white film image? It’s just a wonderful thing.”

Associated Press

Is there a trailer?

Do the critics like it?

While there’s only tumbleweed on the film’s Rotten Tomatoes page at the moment, you can expect A LOT OF COVERAGE of this film in the near future.

Any trivia?

According to IMDB: The cast includes five Oscar winners: Casey Affleck, Sir Kenneth BranaghMatt DamonGary OldmanRami Malek, and three Oscar nominees: Robert Downey Jr.Tom Conti and Florence Pugh.

Don’t say

I’m glad this isn’t based on real life.

Do say

I’d like to do everything I can to support nuclear disarmament globally.

Where and when can I watch it?

Oppenheimer is in cinemas from 20 July.

Read more cheat sheets on ScreenHub

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites