Review: “First Man”


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As it approaches one month in theaters, “First Man” wows audiences nationwide with the story of astronaut Neil Armstrong, in a way it has never been seen before.

The mix between drama and science-fiction complexifies a historic figure by adding Armstrong’s emotional background and personal life to the equation. The film shows the many conflicts, deaths, and psychological challenges that went into landing a man on the moon; things civilians may never have considered about the landmark event.

The film is also able to explain the mission’s development over several years without the use of confusing scientific language. This is a factor that deterred viewers from pieces such as “Interstellar” (2014) and “The Martian” (2015).

Winning an Academy Award earlier this year for his 2017 film “La La Land,” a rom-com musical also starring Gosling, director Damien Chazelle is facing another victory in cinematography with his latest work. “First Man” exhibits extraordinary graphics and masterful cinematography which come together to cultivate a very tasteful and intricate film.

Under expert direction and editing, another large contribution to the film’s success an immaculate emotional performance by Ryan Gosling, who fantastically portrayed Armstrong as an astronautic engineer, husband, and father. The recurrence of painful memories evaluates the effects of bottling up emotions, as Armstrong faces barriers with his wife (Claire Foy) and family. Among his three children in the film was the eldest, Rick Armstrong, played by American actor Luke Winters who was just ten years old at the time of filming. The role was Winters’s acting debut; one that he scored at an open casting call near his home in Wortham, Texas. Videographer Todd Terry helped Winters to connect with the casting team of “First Man” after his initial audition, stating about the young actor, “For a kid who has never done anything before, he is absolutely, 100 percent natural,” (The Fairfield Recorder).

Overall, “First Man” is a very engaging and informative film that beautifully captures the vintage aura of NASA’s first mission to the moon. A great film for those who want to know more about the first man to walk the moon.