Oppenheimer, featuring actor Cillian Murphy, retells the creation of the atomic bomb through the Manhattan project during World War II. The movie released on Friday, July 21, gaining attention from the box office along with Barbie which came to theaters on the same day.
“Oppenheimer,” featuring actor Cillian Murphy, retells the creation of the atomic bomb through the Manhattan project during World War II. The movie released on Friday, July 21, gaining attention from the box office along with “Barbie” which came to theaters on the same day.
Image used with permission from Universal Pictures

Lancers reflect on Barbenheimer summer craze

While the Hollywood movie industry had expected Tom Cruise to save the box office again like he did the previous year with “Top Gun: Maverick,” Cruise’s “Mission Impossible” didn’t fare as well as expected. Instead, what brought many back to the theater were two flicks so far apart in plot but notched together in title: “Barbenheimer.”

Both released on Friday, July 21, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” racked up a combined summer ticket sales of more than $2.3 billion worldwide.

With the holiday movie season approaching, The Accolade interviews some students who share their thoughts about Greta Gerwig’s fictional portrayal of “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s biopic about physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project.

If you have any memorable images from when you went to watch either movie, feel free to contact The Accolade at [email protected] so we can add to this infographic.

Junior Sloane O’Connor holds a Barbie doll in her hand while bringing her back into her younger days of playing with the doll.

“I loved the movie so much; I thought the casting was great. … It was absolutely a pro-feminist movie; the part when Barbie and Ken go to the real world, and Barbie is saddened and shocked, meanwhile Ken is embellishing in it [the real world] is super symbolic, and she lit on how patriarchal our society still is,” said junior Sloane O’ Connor, who owned two Barbies when she was younger and almost bought a new doll after watching the movie.

Junior Sloane O’Connor holds a Barbie doll in her hand while bringing her back into her younger days of playing with the doll. (Image taken by Sue Kang)
Sophomore Edward Galvez poses in front of the “Oppenheimer” poster at the AMC theater in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 25.

 “I chose to watch the Oppenheimer movie because of the whole story behind the atomic bomb. I’ve never really heard much about it, and I loved to finally learn about it and the life of Oppenheimer all in one movie,” said sophomore Edward Galvez, whose friends treated him to the three-hour film as an early birthday gift and got dressed up in black suits with pink ties as an ode to the Barbenheimer craze. “Every scene felt important and meaningful, and the actors and plot worked together perfectly. … Go in as blind as possible; try to read about the topic beforehand if you want to grasp the drama and story of the movie fully. “It’s an amazing movie that deserves your attention – expect to be blown away.”

Sophomore Edward Galvez poses in front of the “Oppenheimer” poster at the AMC theater in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 25. (Image used with permission from Edward Galvez)
Sophomore Aaron Green wears an “I am Kenough” hoodie loud and proud.

Sophomore Aaron Green owns a “Kenough” sweater because he thought it looked cool in the movie, so his dad bought it for him online.

“I went and saw the movie because it had Ryan Gosling in it, and [I] heard it was funny,” said sophomore Aaron Green, whose father paid $31.99 online to give him a “Kenough” hoodie. “I thought the Barbie movie was a very good pro-equality movie.”

Sophomore Aaron Green wears an “I am Kenough” hoodie loud and proud. (Image taken by Asaph Li)
Junior Aidan Sarreal points to a chapter about Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project in his U.S. History textbook.

“I always thought that Oppenheimer really wanted to make the bomb to help the United States win World War II,” said junior Aidan Sarreal, who watched “Oppenheimer” with his friends the same month it appeared on the big screen. “But in reality, he’s pretty upset at the fact that his invention could possibly lead to the end of mankind.”

Junior Aidan Sarreal points to a chapter about Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project in his U.S. History textbook. (Image taken by Asaph Li)
Senior Michael Amescua holds the Barbie doll he bought after watching the movie.

“Yes, it’s a feminist movie; it shows the struggles that women face in society and how the patriarchy can be largely unfair,” said senior Michael Amescua, adding that the message encourages women to pursue any career they want — no matter what society’s expectations may be. “I liked the movie, I didn’t love it nor think it was perfect and let’s face it, I wasn’t the target audience, but the movie was funny, and the lead roles were pretty good.”

Senior Michael Amescua holds the Barbie doll he bought after watching the movie. (Image taken by Noah Lee)
Senior Hannah Garcia showcases her interest in the “Oppenheimer” movie by doing online research the day after watching the film last summer.

“I liked it because the film work and scenes were well shot, making it more interesting to watch,” said senior Hannah Garcia, who recalled talking about the Manhattan Project last year when she took Advanced Placement U.S. History. “It set it apart from movies like ‘Barbie’ because even if it’s a historical movie, the way the scenes are arranged had me hooked and wondering what would happen in the next scene.”

Senior Hannah Garcia showcases her interest in the “Oppenheimer” movie by doing online research the day after watching the film last summer. (Image taken by Asaph Li)
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Kayla Martinez, Staff Reporter
Junior Kayla Martinez spent her sophomore year serving as a staff reporter for The Accolade. Martinez joined The Accolade as a sophomore after taking the Journalism 1 class as a freshman. This year, as a staff reporter, she looks forward to communicating more with her fellow staff members and students around campus.  Outside of The Accolade, Martinez is in several clubs and is very present in her school life. She hopes to see more students on The Accolade website around campus reading articles and taking polls.
Pricilla Escobedo, Staff Reporter
Junior Pricilla Escobedo spent her first year as a staff writer for The Accolade in her sophomore year. This year, Escobedo returns to continue improving her reporting and formatting skills and looks forward to contributing to The Accolade newsletter. She has won two Best of SNO awards for her articles. Outside of The Accolade, Escobedo participates in several clubs and is an Advancement Via Individual Determination student. She strives to be more involved in school and is a part of Link Crew this year. Escobedo hopes that the print publication of The Accolade does not lessen in popularity against online media.
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