Image credit to Salon.com
I did it. Even though I was in a different country, that couldn't deter me, I went to Barbenheimer. And let me tell you, unlike the softie Stuart Heritage from The Guardian, I highly recommend seeing both films back to back. If you want to end with a nice dark taste in your mouth, see Oppenheimer last. If, like I did, you want to end your evening with some optimism and hope, see Barbie last. I also saw the films in New Zealand in the morning, which means more than likely I was one of the first people in the world to attempt and finish Barbenheimer. So there. I'll dive into both movies, in the order I saw them. In the order I EXPERIENCED them, because both movies were a revelation.
When I was in college I was obsessed with the history of the Atomic Bomb. I took a class on it (Taught by the incredible Paul Rubinson at BSU), and was hooked instantly. The Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, all of the incredible minds behind it, the military effort, the spies, all of it captivated me. So I VERY much fan girled when I heard THE Christopher Nolan was going to make a movie about it all, with the VERY attractive/stoic Cillian Murphy, who I wish was in more things. Christopher Nolan is one of the finest directors and visionaries in our generation, and a complete genius. He (and most actors involved in the project) have jumped on the Barbenheimer wagon, and it's proved to be a total success. Heck, I tried to get a ticket to a 70mm film showing but they are sold out ALL this week, until Monday, it's crazy. This movie was beautiful, with the best acting job I've seen in a very long time. Cillian Murphy's dedication to his roles is shown here, as he looks, acts like, and breathes just like Oppenheimer did. The pain, the arrogance, all of it is on full display. The supporting cast is the greatest of all time, with so many talented actors lending their skills to the movie. From Emily Blunt to Robert Downey Jr, each supporting actor performed their job with aplomb. The visuals are spectacular, beautiful, and the explosion (spoiler?) is downright terrifying. I have no problem saying this is the best biopic I've seen, and honestly the best film of the last decade (maybe next to Infinity War). Nolan's attention to detail is perfect, as he captures so much of what made Groves, Oppenheimer, and Teller the legends they are today. Well they SHOULD be legends, and hopefully this movie teaches people about a very important time in our nation's history. Do yourself a favor and go see it in IMAX before it's too late, if you are in the New England Area the Providence Place Showcase is one of 30 theaters in the WORLD that can show it in 70mm film, so get your tickets fast!
I went into Oppenheimer with the HIGHEST expectations, and they were met. I went into Barbie, however, with the LOWEST expectations, expecting it to be a silly throwaway movie. I am happy to report that I was wrong. Barbie has legs. Like quality wise not leg wise. The movie is funny, charming, has a very important social commentary, is witty, brisk, it is everything. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were born for these roles, and both actors absolutely nailed their performances. Ryan Gosling went (probably too) hard as Ken, and he actually sings two of the songs in the movie, and move over Jack Black, because this just won original song of the decade. I don't want to say too much because you should really go experience it yourself, but the humor was on point and the message was inspiring and clever. Heck I cried more during this movie than Oppenheimer. Well I was just stunned thinking about death and the finality of what the nuclear bombs will do to us in the end. But hey Barbie! Margot! Gosling! There we go. It's a super nice palette cleanser if you see this right after Oppenheimer, and will definitely give you cinema vertigo. I will say the Will Ferrell Mattel thing with Will Ferrell was funny but a bit overdone. They weren't in the movie too much, but when they were they took away from the joy of seeing Margot and Gosling do their things. Other than that, the movie is fantastic, and anyone with a soul will love it. So go see both! Do you American consumer duty and participate in Barbenheimer while you can!