First Man: Thorough but Slow
Genre: Historical Drama
Runtime: 142 min
Main Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, and Jason Clark
Director: Damien Chazelle
First Man is a Historical Drama following Niel Armstrong’s journey to become the first man on the moon. Starting before the tragic death of his daughter, we follow Armstong’s rise from non-military pilot to first man on the moon .
Throughout the movie a glimpse of a highly detailed and task orientated Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Who, after one day of burying his daughter returns to work. Deeply haunted by the death of his daughter he pushes forward and joins Project Gemini which later leads to sending him to the moon.
Janet Armstrong (Claire Foy) is the picture of the perfect nuclear wife on the outside. “I married Niel because I wanted a normal life” she utters to one of the other wives but is not scared to stand up for what she wants when she wants it.
First Man does one thing very right it captures the total effect of the race to space the death, the exorbitant expenditure, and the never quit nature of being human. The loss felt by Armstrong and his task orientated coping mechanism emphasises how quickly we forget the cost of achieving greatness when the greatness is achieved.
The visual of the movie is stunning and the sound really captures the feels of heading into space. Both Gosling and Foy deliver extraordinary performances highlighting the very complex emotions of their characters.
The one lacking element is pace, by the end of the movie I was frustrated that the moon landing took so long to take place. It lacks the momentum and the pace might lose viewers along the way.