On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
Damien Chazelle has proven himself to be one of the best directors in Hollywood. First Man is actually probably his worst film, but that really isn’t meant to be an insult in any way. He has set the bar so high with his first two films that it would have been hard to top. He has shown some range here, by moving away his music based films. First Man is an absolute masterclass in directing.
First Man is a spectacle film. This feels like it should be a movie played in an IMAX theater at the National Air and Space museum. It has a real time capsule esque feel to it. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful and I can’t get over some of the space scenes. Justin Hurwitz is back again with Chazelle and he composes what is my favorite score so far this year. I’d honestly be surprised if this isn’t a frontrunner for the best sound editing oscar come award season.
My one complaint about First Man is that if feels really clunky at times. It felt like a lot of the same exact thing. The beginning and end are incredibly strong but the middle gets a little bogged down. I am glad that Chazelle decide to tell this story in such a raw way. This is a super gritty film, and the story can really way on you at times. I had a really great time with this movie. It is a great experience, and as a biopic it does a great job of portraying the difficulties that Neil Armstrong had throughout his time at NASA. It wasn’t always good news and this film definitely depicts this.