It’s no secret that Christopher Nolan is one of the most innovative writers and directors in the modern age of cinema. From Memento to Oppenheimer, Nolan creates immersive worlds filled with suspense, intrigue, action, and dimensional characters.
The task of adapting the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Bird and Sherwin was a monumental task, but it’s one that Nolan has done beautifully. We are given an excellent profile of Oppenheimer, his allies, his enemies, and his many ups and downs throughout his life, never losing sight of how everyone and everything in his orbit led to what would become his legacy: the building of the atomic bomb.
While there’s no question that Nolan had to distill American Prometheus and Oppenheimer’s life into a more digestible form for a wide audience, the screenplay is a testament to Nolan’s skills as both a storyteller and screenwriter. This heavy topic has had real consequences for millions of people worldwide. Nolan delivers a warts-and-all profile of J. Robert Oppenheimer, allowing readers to make their own conclusions about the man and his place in world history.
What makes this screenplay unique is Nolan’s use of the first-person whenever Oppenheimer is a scene’s focus. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to read the script.
Seeing the movie in theaters was an intense three hours that I was glad I experienced. It was nice to see an adult-oriented biographical drama that explored the moral and ethical nuances of creating a weapon capable of such mass destruction.
I highly recommend the film and the screenplay of Oppenheimer.