First Man Review
After tackling the heavy drama of Whiplash and the musical fantasy of La La Land, Damien Chazelle turns it up to Mach 12 in the biopic First Man. Is there anything this director can’t do? I think at this point he could probably walk on the moon himself.
Ryan Gosling stars as the American hero, Neil Armstrong. First Man portrays a side of Armstrong that we haven’t seen before; a man haunted by tragedy as he perseveres to become the first man on the moon. We see him as a family man sharing his life with wife Janet (Claire Foy) and their kids. We see him as a normal guy hanging with friends Edward White (Jason Clarke) and Elliott See (Patrick Fugit). Who knew that he sometimes became annoyed with Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll) and listened so closely to his supervisor Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler)? This film shows a nice, normal man who had an extraordinary life.
I don’t think I am giving away any spoilers when I write that Neil Armstrong survives all of his harrowing flights. You know he lives in the end. There’s no violence or sexual content and just a smidge of cussing. It’s a very wholesome movie, actually. This makes for a fairly kid friendly movie (there is one scene that is a bit much- three astronauts lose their lives in a fire). It is a bit long for the younger kids, but content wise it doesn’t show anything worse than a TV biopic would show. I say let them see an Oscar movie with you! It’s rare that you get to do that outside of the animation category.
Speaking of Oscars, There are lots of space movies that seem to orbit the Academy Award season. Is First Man as good as Arrival, Gravity, Interstellar, and Hidden Figures? Why yes it is! In fact, it has The Right Stuff!
First Man is now playing in theaters!