I’ve never seen the Hackney Picturehouse as busy as it was when we arrived last night. A rainy Monday in July, and it was packed. The Barbenheimer effect, of course. But I was there on the first weekend of Black Panther, I was at the opening night of the last Star Wars movie… Neither was as busy as this.
Oppenheimer was incredible. Hard to make out the dialogue, at times, of course, You expect that from Nolan, and we've maybe got worse at listening to screened entertainment, due to nearly always having the subtitles on at home.
But I didn't feel I missed anything too significant.Oppenheimer's story is quite incredible. I had the vague impression, since I knew only that he'd been instrumental in the Manhattan project, that he was more experimenter than theoretician, maybe an engineer, rather than a physicist. But it turns out (assuming the film and the book it's based on are right) that he was very much a theoretical physicist — even theorising about black holes — and very much not an experimentalist.
Later 'more politician now than scientist', as one of the many other characters says. And those other characters: so many names from the history of physics, many with parts so small you don't even realise they were there till you look at the cast list. Feynman, for example.
Heisenberg (I didn't know his politics were so uncertain); Bohr. Einstein, obviously, though he wasn't involved in the Manhattan Project.
Artistic license: how far were they from the trinity bomb, the initial test detonation? The longest distance they mentioned was twenty miles, for the longest-distance observers, and the closest 1000 yards. That must have been the blast radius, though: there's no way anyone was that close!
But as represented, the time between the light and the sound seemed ridiculously long. It created quite a chilling effect, though: I may never have experienced such a silence in a cinema.
Good film, would watch again. Preferably with subtititles.