Wonders Are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic
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Wonders Are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic
Is there beauty in annihilation? This is one question driving filmmaker Jon Else's (The Day After Trinity) latest documentary. Extending his fascination with the now-60-year history of nuclear power, Else's new film achieves something remarkable: it is art about artists contemplating the science of destruction.

With infinite precision and formidable intelligence, Wonders Are Many unfolds as theatre director Peter Sellars and composer John Adams collaborate on Doctor Atomic, their fifth, and in many ways most complex, collaboration. The opera's subject is the 48 hours… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As powerful as the opera material is, the history and science trumps it in this film."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com
"Jon Else's taut chronicle, fashioned from vivid scenes of creativity and conflict, mostly coheres despite a few wayward strands. But disappointingly, Adams's purely musical choices are largely left unexamined."
‑ Steve Smith, Time Out New York
"Superb documentary on the making of an opera and a weapon of mass destruction."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Why one should see this film is the chance to see John Adams in action."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"By the end, the beautifully shot Wonders Are Many has both probed issues of moral responsibility and scientific curiosity, and paid homage to the strange transcendence that can attend any anticipation of a thing created."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
‑ Michelle Orange, Village Voice
"Despite some very good singing in the opera portions, Wonders Are Many is hard to take seriously."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"The intellect, humanity, creativity and excitement of it all should appeal to everyone."
‑ Janos Gereben, Entertainment Insiders
"Enthralling documentary."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"A masterful distillation of explosive elements: science, art, psychology and humanity."
‑ Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
"Jon Else's unusual and sometimes beautiful film documents a rare cultural moment when art, history and science collided: The making of composer John Adams and director/librettist Peter Sellar's opera Doctor Atomic."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The film oddly attempts to combine the backstage production footage with history-lesson segments. While skillfully crafted, the two stories never quite mesh, and neither go deep enough to work on their own."
‑ Jeremy Mathews, Film Threat
More reviews for Wonders Are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic on Rotten Tomatoes