Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, is a breathtaking and stunning biopic that many critics call one of the best of the year.
Nolan’s inspired directing is a dynamic journey through intense action and immersive soundscapes. He elicits brilliant performances with captivating visuals.
Oppenheimer is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus.
Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer, who led the American effort to create the first atomic bomb.
But as important as all the science, technology and engineering was, a single meeting to convince the military was a pivotal moment. This was a meeting to sell the idea that dropping the devastating bomb on Japan was a way to end the war.
In this high-level gathering, Oppenheimer, General George C. Marshall, and General Leslie Groves are central. The pivotal moment is so important that General Marshall (Will Roberts IMDB) appears in the trailer.
The Military Meeting
In the film, Cillian Murphy, as Oppenheimer, explains the psychological impact of an atomic explosion, “A pillar of fire, 10,000 feet tall. … Deadly neutron effects for a mile. … In all directions. … From one single device.” Will Roberts, as General Marshall says “World War II would be over … our boys would come home.” And Matt Damon as General Leslie Groves delivers the punchline. “We intend to demonstrate it in the most unambiguous terms. … Twice. … Once to show the weapon’s power, and a second to show we can keep doing this, until they surrender.”
In June, Will Roberts told NewsBlaze about his role as General George C. Marshall. “General Marshall was a pivotal part of this important story. … So I worked very hard on the delivery of those lines to portray how he really was.”
George C. Marshall Foundation Comment
“I loved Will Roberts’ depiction of Marshall,” Melissa Davis said. “When I saw Will in Oppenheimer as Marshall, I said ‘Oh, there’s Marshall.’ I feel like he wasn’t acting as Marshall. He was being Marshall.” Melissa Davis is Director of Library and Archives at the George C. Marshall Foundation of Lexington, VA, USA.
“His observation in Oppenheimer about the use of the atomic bomb is ‘World War II would be over; our boys would come home.’ This short phrase speaks directly to Marshall’s ultimate goal: Winning the war sooner so the troops could come home. Not only is it an idea that Marshall would have espoused; it’s phrased as he would have said it, ‘our boys would come home.'”
“May I also say that it was a pleasure to work with Will as he prepared to portray Gen. George C. Marshall? His dedication to learning about Gen. Marshall to show him accurately and respectfully … just amazing.”
Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer, his performance widely praised by critics as “dazzling.” Murphy said he prepared for the role by doing “a lot of reading,” focusing on the man rather than the mechanics of the atomic bomb.
Emily Blunt as Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer was drawn to the role because of the complexity of the character. Blunt spoke about her character’s deep anger for the political system and her refusal to conform to “the feminine ideal of the time.”
Matt Damon as General Leslie Groves in the film Oppenheimer described his character as “fascinating” and spoke about how Groves felt like a “kindergarten teacher” while managing the scientists on the Manhattan Project. Damon also mentioned that Groves didn’t reflect on the consequences of delivering the atomic bomb to the U.S. government.
Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss spoke about how he challenged the traditional narrative of Strauss being a villain and instead portrayed him as a complex character. Christopher Nolan praised Downey Jr.’s performance, calling him one of the great actors.
Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock. Her performance was praised for its beauty and depth, and her character has been described as a tragic and heartbreaking figure.
Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence, an American nuclear physicist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 and worked on uranium-isotope separation during the Manhattan Project.
Casey Affleck as Boris Pash, a U.S. military intelligence officer who commanded the Alsos Mission, an American-British military operation that sought to detect enemy scientific developments during the Second World War. Affleck’s performance was praised for its menacing quality, and he was described as giving viewers chills in the scene where Pash interrogates Oppenheimer.
Will Roberts as General George C. Marshall channeled the General in an understated way. President Roosevelt appointed General Marshall to serve on the Top Policy Group, tasked with oversight of the atomic program. General Marshall and Secretary of War Stimson were responsible for amassing funds for the secret project.
While scrolling through almost 6,000 viewer reviews, this one from Abin Tom Sebastian caught my eye. Here’s what he said, in part: “Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer is nothing short of revelatory. Through the windows of his soul, we glimpse the turbulent storm of thoughts and emotions that rage within him. With each penetrating close-up, we bear witness to the weight of conviction and remorse this enigmatic figure carries for the cataclysm he has unleashed upon the world. Murphy’s artistry paints a vivid picture of a shattered man who once sought to move mountains, only to realize he had become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
One very interesting thing about this movie is that CGI could have been used to generate the special effects. But Nolan and his team did it with no computer graphics at all.