• Joshua Buck

First Man (2018) Review

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Ryan Gosling is very high up in my list of my favourite actors working today and First Man is another movie that showcases his talent as an actor. Portraying quite a muted stance until his 2-year-old daughter dies and at the funeral, he is so quiet and then he shuts himself in a room and you see the emotions just pouring out as he bursts into tears.

The film’s opening starts with such high adrenaline and grabs you straight away and then shows what I think is truly awe-inspiring as he reaches the earth’s atmosphere and you see the blue light shine across his glass window that emits beauty and is evident to see how Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) fell in love with space.

The scenes in these movies are so gripping and Damien Chazelles directing has worked an absolute treat. The scene where they are docking I think is phenomenal and when they start spinning had me more on the edge of my seat during the docking scene in Interstellar, I love Interstellar but First Man conquered the task of me thinking ‘oh s**t’ and nearly had me standing up in my seat.

Claire Foy’s performance as Janet Armstrong is flawless and her acting ability is unquestionable. The scene where she eventually has enough of Neil shutting her out and forces him to talk to the boys about where Neil is going and that he might not be coming back really catches how the relationship between the two really balance one another out.

This film sets out what it wants to achieve it presented a well-structured biopic that doesn’t paint Armstrong as this heroic American figure but as a complicated character who is more enigmatic and the audience tries to seek to understand.

However, this is where I think the film falls flat. As I still have no idea what the motivation was for Armstrong as intriguing as his complexity is it didn’t give the film a focal point as to why he did what he did. In turn I think that is what makes this film forgettable to an extent. However, I do like this film and think it is great and the performances of Ryan Gosling combined with the direction of Damien Chazelle creates a more powerful piece of cinema.

Overall, I rate this movie 4.5/5.

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