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Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, 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. (Universal Pictures US)

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Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

français Christopher Nolan, dans son film le plus mature et le moins facile d’accès pour le public, étonne et stupéfie les spectateurs de tous niveaux d’intelligence et d’éducation avec trois heures de discours sur la physique nucléaire et la politique. Il faut bien s’incliner. Filmer en 57 jours une mosaïque d’événements aussi concentrée, interprétée avec autant de justesse, riche en informations et assemblée de manière aussi élaborée, et qui ne perd pas un instant de son intérêt ou de sa crédibilité sur le plan historique, relève de la maîtrise cinématographique. Le fait que Nolan ait été aidé dans sa tâche par un sujet qui préoccupe et terrifie chacun d’entre nous n’est pas une raison. Quel autre réalisateur aurait pu insuffler plus de dynamisme à une telle histoire ? L’intensité et l’urgence de la narration du film sont une fois de plus renforcées par la bande originale, mixée à grand renfort de vacarme par le magicien Ludwig Göransson (Tenet), et dont l’originalité et la créativité jusque dans les moindres détails font une œuvre à part entière, digne d’admiration. La stylisation des personnages, le montage, le casting d’acteurs que l’on ne s’attendrait pas à trouver ici et qui pourtant s’intègrent parfaitement (Benny Safdie assure) sont brillants. Et ces deux scènes clés, construites à partir d’éléments cinématographiques de base et sans recours au numérique, sont un véritable régal. Immédiatement après la fin du film, j’ai éprouvé des sentiments mitigés, car je m’attendais à quelque chose de différent, comme peut-être chacun d’entre nous. Mais avec le temps, Oppenheimer m’a séduit et je suis heureux que Nolan l’ait fait « à sa façon ». ()


Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais I went to the cinema thinking that Christopher Nolan wouldn't make just a biopic. Well, it's basically a biopic for at least the first hour and a half. A bit more playful in terms of working with time planes, but above all, it's audiovisually imaginative and engaging in a way that all those academy-praised films like The Theory of Everything have little chance of capturing my attention anymore. Moreover, Nolan switches gears a little bit in the middle and starts to play a lot more with individual plot lines as well as genres, so that after the more daringly conceived biopic (which looks great in IMAX), Oppenheimer turns into a horror film at times, a psychological drama at others, and isn't afraid to be a courtroom thriller that even Aaron Sorkin would applaud. It's a bit of a shame that Nolan doesn't have more faith in his audience and always ends regurgitating what might seem a bit complex for the unfocused into a few sentences. I'd certainly have liked it if he'd pushed the line about the responsibility of scientists more and generally gone more in depth with the main character himself, but those are just small things. I was entertained by Oppenheimer for the entire three hours, whether Nolan was playing with image, sound, pacing and genres, or sticking to more traditional storytelling techniques, and just spicing them heavily with his audiovisual mastery. ()



Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais Nolan made a bold move when, after Tenet flopped because of the coronavirus pandemic, he spectacularly cut his long-standing ties with Warner Bros. and played a game of “Do You Want Me?” with other studios. Universal can thus now call Nolan “my darling”. All the studio had to do was fork over the money for a project that doesn’t fit into the currently preferred pigeonholes of Hollywood production. Oppenheimer is thus interesting as a marketing challenge. The first steps led through the elevation of the project itself to the high-concept tagline “Nolan makes an atomic bomb”. Subsequently, the elevation of analogue was brought into the mix, which, in combination with the detonation of the bomb, helped to evoke the impression of an event. Finally, the phrase “70 mm IMAX” helped to complete the suggestion that a three-hour biopic about a theoretical quantum physicist would be an epic spectacle. The most remarkable thing about this is the fact that the premium projection format is employed not for a visually bombastic spectacle, where it would be obviously justified, but for a dialogue film that is mostly composed of shots of actors in suits or uniforms delivering their lines. On the other hand, the myth of 70 mm film stock previously was used in the exact same way to promote Tarantino’s interior dialogue-heavy The Hateful Eight. Even more than in the case of Tarantino’s film, this time the PR spin doctors managed to create the impression that for every film fan a visit to an IMAX cinema is the equivalent of a pilgrimage to Mecca. This is a commendable approach in the interest of achieving a return on the funding invested in Oppenheimer and securing future Nolan projects. Despite the whole PR circus, however, I will venture to say that we don’t need the biggest screen to fully appreciate this film. Excellent sound, yes, but not IMAX. Oppenheimer will not rivet viewers to their seats with the spectacle of its scenes. However, it does offer excellent screenwriting that brilliantly holds the viewer’s attention and succeeds in clearly and thoroughly examining the title character. I write that as someone who has trouble remembering names, so a lot of films with numerous characters don’t work for me, because I easily get lost in them. That is not the case with Nolan’s Oppenheimer, because of how it is told, or rather how it layers not only the timelines, but also the images and sound. It’s as if Nolan has gone back to his roots, when he didn’t have huge budgets and captivated audiences solely with the power of the ingeniously composed narrative in Memento. Except that, unlike his youthfully ambitious hit, the non-linearity in Oppenheimer doesn’t come across as a gimmick. With an unpretentious purposefulness refined over the years, it makes it possible to dissect and, in a way that is fascinating for viewers, piece back together the disparate roles that Robert Oppenheimer played in his life, as well as the professional, personal and moral questions tied to his personality, work and position in the context of major historical events. Thanks to the film’s structure, which constantly places details aside in favour of the bigger picture and distances the context and point of view from the dramatic appeal of the moment, Nolan’s portrait succeeds in avoiding the minefields of poster glorification, tabloid scandal and philosophical ponderousness. Not by dispensing with them, but by constantly bombarding them with particles of other points of view. In Oppenheimer, the standard phrase “complex portrait” is an uncompromising maxim. ()


Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais Two commissions, two ambivalent narcissists and a lot of tensions, things left unsaid and affecting history. Unexpectedly emotional and working with characters for a Nolan film. Spectacular in all its intimacy, transparent in all the time-playing frenzy of characters, names, and events. Three hours of dialogue condensed into what feels like a much shorter running time. The tangibility of it all, the acting, Göransson's score, the editing... Everything is at the highest bar, but that's no the reason to love it. The reason is how it totally nails it, how it grapples the issue in an unscholarly way asking the big questions of life, and how damn good it is as a film. ()


Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais Christopher Nolan has made an excellent 3-hour period drama about the making of the atomic bomb with a perfect cast, breathtaking visuals, great dialogue and decently dosed tension, but it's also a very exhausting and challenging film, and I'm not sure I want to go through it again – we all know Nolan makes films that need to be seen multiple times to fully understand them and pick up all the details, but here I just don't know if it will be too tedious a second time around, or if it won't be at the cinema again. I like the fact that Nolan wrote the script himself and got the best of the best for the rest: cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoyte, whose cinematography is simply unique, the music this time is not by Hans Zimmer but by the skillful Ludwig Göransson, who is also a safe bet; and he was lucky in the choice of actors. Cillian Murphy gives probably the performance of his life, which should be awarded an Oscar. It was also nice to see Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. (the rest of the famous actors really had minimal space and are rather cameos). The first hour is a little quieter and a little too much scientific for my taste, which I'm not that interested in, but it's simply part of the fabric, just not something I'm downright fond of. With the arrival of Damon and the preparation of the nuke – the explosion is one of the best sequences of the film (unexpectedly) – the tension was palpable, the atmosphere thickened and the whole thing is really very nicely executed. I enjoyed the final “trial”, it was pretty heated, although I expected to be even more blown away, as I love these verbal shootouts, but something was missing. All in all, I am satisfied, it couldn't have been done better, audiovisually it is a masterpiece of the genre, it's just not really my genre and unless I have the need to visit the cinema again immediately, I can't give it a full score. 8/10. ()

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