Thursday, June 20, 2024

Strongly Oscar Buzzed “Oppenheimer” Has Non-Premiere with No Red Carpet, Director Christopher Nolan Invokes Support for Striking Artists and Writers


It was an unusual premiere last night in New York for Christopher Nolan’s Oscar buzzed “Oppenheimer.”

The screening at AMC Lincoln Square IMAX was packed, drawing an eclectic crowd of recognizable faces including media mogul Barry Diller and punk rock queen Patti Smith. Prodicer/activist Trudie Styler was accompanied by her son, Jake Sumner, who’s got a great documentary coming to Netflix this fall about rock and roll promoter Ron Delsener. (Sting is touring all the world to sell out crowds.)

But there were no SAG members of note, no stars from the film as the union strike prevents any promotion of films.

Director Nolan was there to introduce the film, and thanks his crews around the world. An avowed enemy of streaming, Nolan made short remarks supporting the striking actors and writers, noting “changing business models that have not kept pace” and “need to be changed.” He said very politely, very British, “We need to get back to work as soon as possible so we can keep doing what we love.”

“Oppenheimer” is three hours, and nine minutes long. Already the raves are piling in. Director Paul Schrader said to me and later Tweeted that it’s the best film of the century.” That was a lot coming from him since Schrader is bffs with Martin Scorsese, who’s got the spectacular “Killers of the Flower Moon” coming in October — and will be “Oppenheimer'”s competition in awards season. (Watch for Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., and Emily Blunt to be on the top of lists.)

Great food at the Natural History museum, and plenty of it since Universal scaled back the party so severely. But Universal chief Donna Langley was busy accepting kudos on her promotion to Head of Everything including Movies and TV. Langley has risen through the ranks over two decades, and she’s the only one in Hollywood who seems to know what they’re doing these days!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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