Tuesday, April 16, 2024

“Oppenheimer” Most Thrilling Night of the Year with 55 Piece Orchestra Accompanying the Movie, Hosted by Cillian Murphy, Christopher Nolan, Composer Ludwig Göransson


What a night!

If the people wanted to get Oscar votes for “Oppenheimer,” they really scored last night — and I am using a pun!

Royce Hall at UCLA’s Westwood campus — a real piece of stunning old world architecture in this gleaming, take-down town — was the site of a thrilling and memorable show no one who attended will ever forget.

A full orchestra of musicians who played on the film’s soundtrack, led by famed conductor Anthony Parnther, played the three hour score to Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” while the movie played above them on a huge screen. Royce Hall was packed as star Cillian Murphy and director Christopher Nolan introduced composer Ludwig Göransson to the adoring crowd.

As fans of the epic film already know, “Oppenheimer” is a movie that has music playing almost 95% of the time as the drama of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life and the building of the atomic bomb build to dozens of explosive moments, not just the Trinity launch but relationships of characters played by Murphy, Emily Blunt, and Robert Downey, Jr, among others.

I guess you can watch “Oppenheimer” streaming at home, but seeing it live in a magnificent theater on a huge movie screen underscores what a monumental achievement it is beyond the acting, directing, and writing. The sheer scope of it — especially on a second or third viewing — reveals the complex artistry of the editing, cinematography, and make up. You also get to see all the smaller performances by great actors Nolan has scattered through the film like Matthew Modine, Tony Goldwyn, David Krumholtz, Jason Clarke, and especially Tom Conti as Albert Einstein.

As for the score itself: As it was pointed out last night, an early in the film piece called “Can You Hear the Music?” has turned into an online hit. (It has 2 billion TikTok impressions, whatever that means!) When Parnther and arrived at it last night –during a dazzling light show in the movie– the audience applauded like it was a Taylor Swift hit single. I’m not kidding. I’m not sure if the piece on its own could be a Best Song at the Oscars. It would win, hands down!

Of course, all the Oscar buzzed films with scores by famed musicians would benefit from such a presentation. But Universal did it last night, in a proper classical setting, and it was an enormous hit. Göransson’s score is so complex and chillingly beautiful, with gorgeous melodic stretches, that the memory of it will resonate long after Oscar season.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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