The Big Picture
- The release of Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer has garnered a strong and surprising response from audiences, especially younger viewers who have embraced the film.
- The final scene of the movie, depicting Oppenheimer reflecting on his actions and envisioning a world destroyed by nuclear weaponry, has deeply affected audiences and left a lasting impact on viewers.
- The film’s subject matter, which tackles the development of the atomic bomb and its consequences, resulted in a broad and powerful response that exceeded the director’s expectations.
Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer continues to impress and captivate audiences, even four months after its theatrical release. Now, as we approach the home entertainment drop of the film, the director has been discussing and reflecting on the impact of the film on audiences. Speaking with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff to promote the movie’s launch on 4K UHD and digital, Nolan was asked about what particular facets of the film’s release had most surprised him when it came to the audience response.
An important factor in the film’s success with younger audiences could perhaps be attributed to the “Barbenheimer” of it all, with the impromptu double feature, which went viral on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok—all foreign areas to Nolan—succeeding in dragging a different demographic to see a film they may not otherwise have seen, enjoying it, and embracing it, even dressing as the titular character.
“Gosh, I feel that the audience has interpreted and taken the film very much in the spirit that I intended, which is obviously a huge relief, particularly with as tricky and potentially controversial subject matter as this. It’s a very serious subject matter. But the strength of the response has so far exceeded our highest hopes for the film. To have particularly young people, you know, 15/16-year-olds going dressed as Oppenheimer to the movie theater to watch the movie, these were not things we anticipated.”
In terms of specific responses to the film, however, the director noted he was taken by how “affected” audiences were, in particular to the final scene of the movie, which features Oppenheimer reflecting on his actions, and visualizing a world that destroys itself with nuclear weaponry, created at his hand. It’s a powerful, dark, and nihilistic moment that will stay with viewers long after they see the film.
“But as far as the particular directions, I would say the film has an ambiguous response at the end. People seemed very affected by it, and that started to become apparent as soon as we started screening the film for individuals as we were working on the film. So, every time we screened the film for a small number of people, there’d be very strong reactions to the end. People would feel, sometimes, very upset, not necessarily for specific reasons, though; it’s a more generalized sense of, I suppose, despair and nihilism that is just inherent to the subject matter. So, really, the strength of the response, the breadth of the response, has been a big shock for us.”
Where Can I Watch ‘Oppenheimer’?
Nolan fanatics will be able to buy Oppenheimer on 4K Blu-ray DVDs physically from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart. Digital storefronts, like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Vudu, Xfinity, YouTube, Microsoft, and Verizon, will also make the film available to stream on November 21.
The story of American scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
- Release Date
- July 21, 2023
- Christopher Nolan
- Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.
- Main Genre
- War, Biography, Drama
- Kai Bird, Christopher Nolan, Martin J. Sherwin
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Khushi Patel is a science fiction author who lives in Austin, Texas. She has published three novels, and her work has been praised for its originality and imagination. Khushi is a graduate of Rice University, and she has worked as a software engineer. She is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and her books have been nominated for several awards.