“First Man” - Movie Review

The Eagle Has Landed

My review - ◉◉◉◉◎


First Man

Directed by Damien Chazelle

Written by Josh Singer, based on James R. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong.

With Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke…

“First Man” tells the universally-known story of the first moon landing but focuses beautifully on the lesser-known, more intimate, story of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and what it took for him to achieve the impossible. Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) invites us into the private life of Armstrong and his family with a visually remarkable film. 

The film alternates between Armstrong professional and personal life. In some claustrophobic scenes, Chazelle puts us inside the cockpits for some immersive rides with outstanding cinematography. In these scenes we live the experience with the astronauts, and I was holding my breath and shaking alongside them. 

But Chazelle shows us the other side of the brillant astronaut. Armstrong lost his two-year-old daughter Karen (Lucy Stafford) to an inoperable brain tumor and shortly after he enrolled for the Gemini NASA program. Ryan Gosling portrays Armstrong, a distant and private man who often hides his emotions, with great subtlety. 

Claire Foy, who plays Armstrong’s wife, Janet, is on the other hand remarkable in the emotional scenes where she tries to hold her family together knowing that her husband might never return from the Apollo Mission. 

The film gives us better understanding of the man behind the Apollo Mission, a father who with his determination to accomplish the impossible works through the grief of loosing his daughter.

For me the film has the whole package: great cinematography, great acting and directing and a great score that gives the movie an out of this world ambience with the sound of the theremin in Lunar Rhapsody.

Go see it!