Oppenheimer Cast Reveal Why Christopher Nolan Movies Connect with So Many People


In Oppenheimer, the new biographical epic from Christopher Nolan, the disturbingly still relevant story of the “father of the atomic bomb” is recounted in visceral, nerve-shattering detail. For here, a profoundly intelligent man, J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy in the film) assembles and manages some of the most brilliant minds in his field, bringing many of the best American physicists and engineers of that moment out into the desert where, from nothing, they build a town and a device that changes the fate of the world.

It was a great and terrible achievement, and one which influenced how even fellow scientists understood the implications of their fields of study. That ability to gather and guide such disparate minds to a shared purpose also invites comparisons for a filmmaker like Nolan, who for more than 15 years has been at the epicenter of a filmmaking industry increasingly divided between popular commerce and art; content-duplication and innovation.

Within these seemingly irreconcilable contradictions, Nolan has been able to make popular and thrilling blockbusters with his own small army of collaborators. These films introduced the concept of IMAX photography being used for big budget Hollywood spectacle, and yet they also challenged audiences to consider the harrowing implications of the theory of relativity (Interstellar), intricately complex narrative structures (Inception, Dunkirk), or just how relevant the story of Oppenheimer still is to our current moment, with the doomsday clock currently 90 seconds to midnight. It makes you wonder, then, if Oppenheimer’s lead actors—Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, and Matt Damon—might also see any parallels between the film’s director and the visionary head of Los Alamos.

“Chris Nolan is definitely the most intelligent person I know,” Murphy says when considering the contrast several weeks ago (and before the SAG-AFTRA strike). “He probably could build an atom bomb in his garage if he so wished. The man is a genius.”

Murphy certainly has had a chance to study that intelligence; the actor’s collaboration with Nolan goes back to nearly 20 years ago and his appearance as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins. They’ve worked together six times since then, and all the while the trust between the pair has only deepened. However, it is Nolan’s faith in the audience, as opposed to his technical innovations, which Murphy suggests explains the director’s impact on cinematic culture.

Says Murphy, “What I love about Chris and his approach to filmmaking is he presupposes a level of intelligence in the audience, which we really need in filmmaking. Which is why I think his movies do very well reviewing. They benefit from being seen a few times.”

These sentiments echo Blunt’s own thoughts while considering Nolan’s influence on the industry.

“I don’t know if Chris’ intention is to get the world to see things differently or from his point-of-view,” Blunt says with real consideration. “I don’t see him as that filmmaker. I think he presents extraordinary and profound themes on a big entertaining scale. I think nobody else has been able to capture it in the same way that he has, and he has been groundbreaking in that way, completely groundbreaking. I think Chris himself is wildly bright. He’s a hurricane of a talent. I think he wants to entertain people, he’s very passionate about movies, but I don’t see it as self-serving. I see it as his belief in audiences and belief in theaters, and belief in the cinematic experience, and his trust in audiences to get it. Not to be spoon-fed it, but just to get this big vision. That’s why people don’t feel talked down to in his films.”

Damon, who is sitting next to Blunt during our interview, wholeheartedly agrees. He also adds, “His movies are unbelievably entertaining, and I don’t think he’s trying to get you to agree with him. I think with this one… there are so many unanswerable questions. I mean, people have been talking about this for 80 years, and I think he wants to spark conversation.”

We can safely say there will be a lot for audiences to discuss after Oppenheimer opens in theaters on Friday, July 21.

The post Oppenheimer Cast Reveal Why Christopher Nolan Movies Connect with So Many People appeared first on Den of Geek.

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