Christopher Nolan’s workout was interrupted by an unwelcome film review.
At the New York Film Critics Circle awards on Wednesday, January 3, Nolan received the Best Director prize for his film Oppenheimer and told the funny story during his speech.
“I was on my Peloton. I’m dying. And the instructor started talking about one of my films and said, ‘Did anyone see this? That’s a couple hours of my life I’ll never get back again!” he said.
Nolan continued to wax poetic about his love of film criticism — something that social media has changed where anyone can give their opinions on film. He continued about his Peloton criticism, “When [film critic] Rex Reed takes a s–t on your film he doesn’t ask you to work out! In today’s world, where opinions are everywhere, there is a sort of idea that film criticism is being democratized, but I for one think the critical appreciation of films shouldn’t be an instinct but it should be a profession.”
Nolan noted he has an appreciation for film criticism, which can be fraught for directors, although he clearly doesn’t prefer it with a side of sweat. When he’s not on his Peloton, he usually gets a bit of warning if a bad review awaits. “A question we’re always asked is: ‘Do we read reviews?’ Let’s start with the fact that I’m British,” he said. “A typical family gathering will involve relatives saying to me, ‘You know, Christopher. You probably shouldn’t open The Guardian today.’”
While Nolan didn’t give any details about which Peloton instructor it was or what classes he prefers, Us is hoping it’s the Movie Buff (a.k.a. specific movie-themed rides). He also didn’t disclose which of his 12 movies wasted his instructor’s couple hours.
It would come as a surprise if his latest movie, Oppenheimer, which released in July 2023, was it as the movie received mostly positive response. The star studded historical epic followed J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) who helmed the Manhattan Project with a group of scientists to create the atomic bomb. The film grossed over $955 million dollars worldwide and combined with the same weekend release as Barbie — the Barbenheimer double feature became a cultural phenomenon.
Oppenheimer has also been holding its own critically with glowing reviews from film critics and going forward into awards season, it has been nominated for eight Golden Globes including Best Picture, Drama.