First Man is a beautiful and well thought out look at the journey to the Moon. It's told entirely from the perspective of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) with little character building for others. That's fine however, as this lead is certainly a strong focal point to lean on. The aim of the film is to present a sense of hope for the exploration of space and its meaning to society. It also has counter points showcasing the emotional impact of those darker failures that plague the space race.
It doesn't shy away from those moments of sorrow, while also heavily detailing the failures that led to man taking off into space and then the Moon. There are many interesting elements to this film from the family life to the rigorous training involved with getting into these high tier projects. It certainly wasn't something with a high success rate and despite the danger, they kept pushing to improve the technology and propel science forward.
First Man is one stylized film looking sleek and very visually appealing. It's beautifully shot, carries heavy levels of details and has a perfect sense of audio carrying it. This all comes together in an excellent manner and definitely carries the director, Damien Chazelle's distinct style.
The acting is great, Gosling nails it here being strict, witty and emotional when needed. This is followed closely by Claire Foy as Armstrong's wife Janet. It would have been nice to see other characters developed further, but they gave just enough context to the losses that directly affect the lead. It's a very good film, though a tad long towards the end. You definitely feel it stretching on a bit and I think this might be more perfect for a particular audience.
First Man is an excellent look at the career of Neil Armstrong as he battles against emotional problems with an end goal of reaching an impossible target. You get an incredibly in-depth look at the process behind piloting the various craft that were tested for flying out there.
To build on that, you get just enough of an emotional connection to those that were lost along the way. It's a wondrous experience to take in having great composure. The music, the style of the shots were just perfect. It was a pleasure to view telling a grand story. My main issue is however the length of it, being a fan of space in general I was still having thoughts of wanting it to wrap up around their final mission.
First Man Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by NBC Universal