The box office exceeded 100 million in 4 days, but it was the best in 10 years? Is Nolan's new film a masterpiece or a "divine stick"
Text | Ling Hu Boguang
Nolan's latest film "Oppenheimer" was released in China, but the box office performance was not too good, breaking 100 million in 3 days of release and 200 million in 4 days, which has the relationship between the film being released on Wednesday instead of on the weekend, and the box office performance is not so strong. But in general, compared with the current domestic film box office at every turn hundreds of millions.
"Oppenheimer" can only be said to have an average domestic box office performance, but it is indeed an excellent movie.
Not only did a certain petal score in China score 8.8, but the audience who watched it said that the "stamina" was too great. At the same time, compared with Nolan's first two works "Creed" and "Dunkirk", many people think that this is Nolan's best work. If you were to ask my opinion, Nolan would definitely not talk about it.
But "Oppenheimer" is indeed the peak of Nolan in the past decade, probably the same as "Inception" + "Interstellar", because of the theme, narrative deconstruction and expression It is destined to be unable to be praised for fans for a long time like "Batman Series".
At the same time, this film is also the pinnacle of playing the narrative structure "postmodern American film" now, which can be played so complex and finally rounded out the foreshadowing and details. It not only contributed a wonderful commercial blockbuster, but also became a model for commercial blockbusters in the new era.
One 6 years, one 3 years, is Nolan's "Dunkirk" "Creed" a bad movie? compared with
I don't know if you find one thing that doesn't, the current Hollywood blockbuster is divided into two extremes.
That is, the movie with an honest narrative (that is, telling the story of the Eight Classics) is getting more and more boring, and you can basically guess the end by looking at the beginning, and it is of course difficult to watch mixed with all kinds of political correctness.
And the slightly pursued movies, including the narrative structure of American dramas, are messy, to be precise, the narrative, timeline is disrupted, and then use editing techniques to give you what positive order, flashbacks, interpolations, different time and space, etc., ordinary people look like bells and whistles.
Of course, this set is very classic when played well, but the vast majority of film and television dramas are not played well.
This problem is also a bit like many top directors, such as Ang Lee, Tsui Hark, Cameron and so on. These directors pursue technological breakthroughs in light script expression, resulting in big problems with these movies, anyway, the gimmick is very bluffing, but it is not good.
Probably heavy on form and light on script, heavy on formalism and light on the film itself, you have to say that they are bad films and not. But I believe that in the eyes of most audiences, many movies are now far less beautiful than the movies they used to be, just bells and whistles. Obviously, the special effects of the previous movies were good, the actors were good, the characters were good, and the plot was very simple and easy to understand.
We look at Nolan movies from this perspective, and his "Batman Trilogy" is a dividing line. The previous works were still medium-cost commercial genre films, and the subsequent works belonged to the top investment commercial blockbusters.
But after that, among the works ("Inception" is in the middle), "Interstellar" has the best reputation, the most fans, the highest rating, and netizens talk about it the most; The later battle "Dunkirk" no matter how much fans touted it, but the controversy from the audience was already a little loud.
The 2020 sci-fi blockbuster "Creed" is almost recognized as Nolan's work of "going crazy".
Why are Nolan's two works so controversial? Why do I feel a little "crazy", this question seems to me quite similar to Jiang Wen's "One Step Away" and "Evil Does Not Suppress Righteousness", and it is also quite similar to "Budapest Hotel" director Wes Anderson's later "French Mission" and "Asteroid City".
These are the pinnacles of "film formalism", but formalism is different, and the result is a bit out of play.
Taking Nolan's last two films as an example, "Dunkirk" is the narrative structure, this film is three narrative threads of sea, land and air, showing the theme from multiple perspectives, each line has the conditions to independently constitute a story, and each line is connected to each other in the clue. And "Creed" is clearly the setting.
The first half of it still has the feeling of a "007" agent movie, but in the second half, the "time reversal" two bright timelines + dark lines, the information is many and dense, the editing is fast and complex, and finally there is a feeling that it is difficult to accept by forcibly instilling.
I guess that except for people who pretend to be 13 hard-mouthed, the vast majority of audiences have a feeling after watching this type of movie: it seems to be quite powerful, but what is the movie doing?
Best in 10 years? Compared with "Creed" and "Dunkirk", "Oppenheimer" is "bull"
"Oppenheimer" stands out and becomes the pinnacle of Nolan's films this decade. I think it is "Inception" + "Interstellar", which has the superb narrative structure of "Inception", rigorous and airtight, and the historical events behind it, the thickness of the scientist's life experience is supported by details, and the details and foreshadowing are in place.
You can also say that this is the filmed "Dunkirk" + "Creed", so how did Nolan do it?
After watching this movie, I not only felt that myself, but even the audience of the entire cinema were numb, and I could no longer use adjectives to temporarily describe this movie, and I only had three words in my head: the peak of postmodern commercial blockbusters, and probably no one can play Nolan in a short time.
Nolan's display of film lens language, narrative structure, and details and foreshadowing is jaw-dropping, and the conversion of color and black and white pictures represents the perspectives of the two protagonists, interpolation, reverse order, and multiple uses of supplementary narrative, and multiple timelines intersect and complement each other.
At the same time, the lens language is interspersed with the collision of particles when the nuclear bomb explodes, and then the pull of various audiovisual languages to the extreme.
There are not many big scenes in the movie, but the plot is very compact, the events and characters dialogue one after another, one does not pay attention to think about it will drop the information, not exciting but immersed in the whole process without urine spots, like I don't feel bored at all. The key is that you obviously feel very tired in the process, but you can catch your emotions and keep watching.
This film language and narrative structure processing is probably the more complete "The Wandering Earth 2".
There are many characters in the film, the events are chaotic, the characters are complex, and the narrative structure and timeline are one after another. But none of the main characters made me feel flat, and none of the events made me feel useless. Because in the last hour, it rounded all the narrative sections that were disrupted in front of the narrative.
If from the perspective of subject matter, it has two types, documentary + suspense film (or trial film), while inserting several trial processes with various narrative techniques, while inserting characters and groups, research and development processes and some follow-up arguments, etc., the base is quite common three-act but the details filled in are very exquisite.
I believe that the vast majority of viewers will feel chaotic when they look at the front, have a feeling that they can't understand, and if their mind wanders, they will probably feel bored. Only when I saw the silence of the test explosion did I react to Nolan's film, and in the last hour multiple clues slowly merged, and I saw Lewis Strauss go back to the beginning to find Einstein.
I suddenly understood that the narrative structure and details of this film were laid out, reaching an unprecedented peak.
The film has a strong postmodern feel, with flashbacks, interludes, additions and extreme audiovisual language techniques filling almost the entire film. The advantages of Nolan's film are brought to the peak, using short moments, flashbacks, different tone pictures, and detailed hints to neutralize the sense of verbosity that the audience feels tired because of too long a time.
What does that mean? That is, as long as you watch the aforementioned movie, I believe most audiences will feel tired after the atomic bombing (after all, the bombardment has been indiscriminate for two hours), but after the integration of multiple narrative threads in the last hour, you still have a feeling of being shocked to the scalp.
God's work or trickery, foreign explosion China can not get up? You give Nolan's new film a few points
So is Oppenheimer flawed? In my opinion, this is also Nolan's biggest problem, and the reason why Nolan can't catch up with Spielberg, Ridley Scott, not to mention Kubrick. That is the narrative structure, the formalism of the image is at its peak, but it is ultimately lacking in the level of text and core expression.
If we simply talk about the first half of the atomic bomb, it is not as direct as China's "Born in the Sky", which makes people emotionally excited. If it comes to character biopics, it is far less pure than "Citizen Kane"; If you talk about trial films, let alone compare them with "Prosecution Witness" and "Twelve Angry Men".
For example, the process of building the atomic bomb was very rapid, and the McCarthyism was very shallow.
For example, "McCarthyism" is incomprehensible to most ordinary people, and if they don't know the background, they will not understand the motives of the people in the movie. For example, why did Oppenheimer have to launch the atomic bomb before the (Yalta) meeting? Why did Truman say "never" so firmly? Why did Taylor come up with the theoretical idea of heavy hydrogen out of place?
In the end, the best thing about "Oppenheimer" is the narrative and structure itself, all the great film elements are hidden in the archetype, in history, in science, under the political confrontation of McCarthyism, but these things ordinary audiences cannot receive information in the film.
The most shocking thing about the movie is the narrative structure, and the narrative structure is the shock itself.
This also leads to the fact that the movie is far more hardcore than Nolan's previous films, 3 hours of almost uninterrupted characters, text interaction, to be honest, I think the average audience will still struggle to watch the whole movie, the amount of information, the intensity of character interaction, and the complexity of the fast pace.
The audience may not even remember who he is, his scenes and stories will pass, and once he does not pay attention, he will not be able to keep up.
My evaluation of the movie is not very hardcore (I didn't do my homework before watching the movie), but it does have a certain threshold, and the character relationships, historical events, scientific knowledge, and political confrontations, and various isms, systems and cultures interspersed with backgrounds are flashes, but they are indeed fascinating.
"Oppenheimer" failed to save the Chinese box office, but saved the "Hollywood blockbusters" of recent years
"Oppenheimer" is indeed the pinnacle of Nolan movies in the past decade, surpassing the previous two is very stable, "Inception" and "Interstellar" I think it is also surpassed, but "Interstellar" because the narrative of the Eight Classics is not complicated, the direct emotions + excellent sci-fi setting image presentation, it must be one of the audience's favorite Nolan movies.
In Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" lackluster, Cameron's "Avatar 2" heavy on technology and light scripts, and invariably fell into political correctness, Nolan can still make this kind of breakthrough, all aspects to the peak of Hollywood blockbusters, it is still rare.
The film talks a lot about events, but it's all quite shallow, if you start from Oppenheimer, the scientist. Life is always full of dialectical and contradictory, lover and wife, family and society, war and peace, science and ism, the individual and the world, it still presents the greatness and pain, progress and cruelty of that era.
So, whether you like "Oppenheimer or not", you have a feeling of numbness in your scalp and deafening after watching it.
Such movies are becoming less and less common in Hollywood today.