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Inside the mind of the father of the atomic bomb with the film

Inside the mind of the father of the atomic bomb with the film

“Cinema doesn’t work well when it’s didactic and tells us what to think,” says director Christopher Nolan in introducing “Oppenheimer,” an intense film that poses moral dilemmas while challenging the audience to “get into the mind” of the “father” of the atomic bomb.

The real risk of causing the destruction of the planet in order to save it was the strange paradox faced by the American theoretical physicist of Jewish origin J. Robert Oppenheimer, whom Nolan has tried to decipher, from various angles, with his latest film, which is opens on July 20 in Spain and Latin America.

“What drew me to (the story) was the complexity and the difficult questions it raises,” explains Nolan in a virtual meeting with the media.

With this three-hour film, the filmmaker says he has tried to “understand” the life and legacy of the renowned director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II, a brilliant, complex, seductive, conflict-ridden, overwhelmed man. because of the enormity of the consequences of their actions.

Nolan, however, avoids sobering approaches in his work. In this sense, he assures that at no time has he tried to “send any specific message” with Oppenheimer: “Cinema does not work well when it is didactic, when it tells the audience what they have to think,” he observes.

After “spending hours in Oppenheimer’s mind”, the revered British director (author, among other films, of “Inception” (Origin, 2010) or “Interstellar” (2014) says that upon finishing the recording, he managed to “develop an understanding “about who the scientist really was, “and why he did what he did.”

“I think at the end of the story, it should raise some troubling questions for us and there should be things we need to reevaluate about what we’ve seen and experienced,” he says.

To bring this plot to the big screen, Nolan was inspired by the novel “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J.Robert Oppenheimer”by Kai Bird and Martin J.Sherwin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and achieves breathtaking effects on the audience by combining the IMAX technique with black and white sections of analogue photography.

As he admits, he knew who would embody the controversial physicist when he finished writing the script, contemplating the “intense gaze” of a photograph of the real Oppenheimer that appeared on the cover of the aforementioned book.

He admits that that was when he saw clearly that the role would undoubtedly go to his “friend” the Irish actor Cilian Murphy (“Inception” -Origin- and “The Dark Knight Trilogy”- The Dark Knight-), “one of the actors in greatest talent that exists” and with which he wanted “that the audience could get into the head” of the physicist.


The admiration is mutual. During the interviews prior to the premiere, Murphy himself confesses that when he was assigned that role he came to feel “a little overwhelmed, in shock” and assures that he realized at the moment that it was “one of the best scripts I had read” when that “you have to say yes”.

Christopher Nolan is an extraordinary director in every way; He is the perfect director, a fantastic screenwriter, incredible with the actors and he presents the films like no one else in this world can,” the actor underlines.

He also assures that the British filmmaker’s films “are very challenging and presuppose a level of intelligence to his audience and, as an actor, he achieves that calm in all his shoots.”

Of his character, he believes that, deep down, beyond his controversial acts, he was “a good man” despite the fact that “his actions changed the world”.

Another star in the cast, the British Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada”- The Devil Wears Prada- and “Quiet Place” -A quiet place-), in the role of the biologist “Kitty” Oppenheimer, wife of the physical, indicates that he knew immediately that he was “before something extraordinary, revolutionary” when the script arrived.

The reverence for Nolan’s wit and artistry is shared by all of his actors. Also Matt Damon, who gives life to Leslie Groves, the director of the so-called Manhattan Project, affirms without hesitation that the fact that “you get a call from Nolan is the best thing that can happen to you in this industry.”

He also stresses that the filmmaker is a man with “an engineer’s brain” and manages to “invent new ways of doing things.”

Other familiar faces in the film include Robert Downey Jr., who plays an exceptional role as Professor Lewis Strauss of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Florence Pugh, as psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Josh Hartnett, as the nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence, Casey Affleck, Rami Malick and Kenneth Branagh.

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