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The Barbenheimer Nose looks at ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’

Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie.’
Dale Robinette
Warner Bros.
Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie.’

It looks like this beach was a little too much beach for this week’s Nose.

The Barbenheimer Apocalypse is upon us.

Barbie is the fourth film written and directed by Greta Gerwig and the second Gerwig has cowritten with Noah Baumbach. It is the first film released by Mattel Films and the first live-action film based on the dolls. Oh, and it’s the No. 1 movie in the country, having grossed $495 million worldwide so far. Its opening last weekend was the highest-grossing opening ever for a movie directed by a woman and the highest-grossing opening ever for a movie based on a toy. Barbie is the sixth-highest grossing movie of 2023 so far.

And: Oppenheimer is the 12th film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is based on the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, and it stars Cillian Murphy in the title role. It’s the No. 2 movie in the country. Its opening last weekend was the largest of Christopher Nolan’s career outside of his Batman films. Oppenheimer is three hours long, and IMAX prints of the film are reportedly 11 miles long and weigh 600 pounds.


  • Rebecca Castellani: Co-founder of Quiet Corner Communications and a freelance writer
  • James Hanley: Co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College
  • Shawn Murray: A stand-up comedian, writer, and the host of the Nobody Asked Shawn podcast
  • Carolyn Paine: An actress, comedian, and dancer; she is founder, director, and choreographer of CONNetic Dance

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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