First Man Movie Review - Exposing the agony behind that Monumental Moment
Ryan Gosling's internalized performance is powerfully potent here. The tension is palpable and so is the suspense
U/A: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Claire Foy
Damien (La La Land, Whiplash) Chazelle's account of NASA's series of dangerous attempts leading up to the first successful manned mission to the moon, centers around Astronaut Neil Armstrong's dedication to the job despite the tragedy he experienced in the initial stages of his career. On July 16, 1969, the nation and world might have watched in wonder as Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embarked on the historic Apollo 11 spaceflight, but the body trail, agony, and loss of dollars from public spend that came before it, raises questions about the worth of the mission itself. That's not the main consideration of this focused effort scripted by Josh Singer, based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, that tells Neil Armstrong's story from his committed point of view.
Watch the trailer here:
He is a family man dedicated to his job and the film writs large about the risks and turns his life and career take before he achieves that iconic, monumental moment on the Moon. The film is a celebration of hard work, resilience, and persistence – Chazelle keeps it narrowed down to Armstrong's efforts to be there on that curve that made him a legend. Ironically, the film is more about the man than the legend he helps create.
The treatment here is so completely immersive and engaging that despite knowing the end result (implicit in the title) you feel breathless with trepidation regarding what is to come next. Ryan Gosling's internalized performance is powerfully potent here. The tension is palpable and so is the suspense. The hand-held camerawork, the seamless CGI, the point-of-view focus, the performance of Claire Foy as the agonized but trying-hard-not-to-externalize-it, wife, and the enabling intimacy of camerawork that captures every mood and moment with great profundity makes this effort powerfully sublime.
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