First Man is directed by Damien Chazelle and stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong the astronaut who would make history by being the first man on the Moon in July 1969 well this movie tells the tale of how he got to be on that Apollo mission and finally that history making Moonwalk.
First Man is a movie I very much enjoyed mainly due to Mr Chazelle’s craftsmanship which has come a very long way from La La Land last year which I merely thought was okay there is some beautiful visuals here by Linus Sandgren where he combines an old fashioned film feel with deep blacks in space and tight angles when the astronauts are in the various space rockets and capsules and the way he also uses the blacks, reds, yellows and blues in particular was very eye catching.
And also there is some truly brilliant sound design on show here so good that I want this movie to win the Best Sound Design Oscar next year (A Quiet Place should get the other Sound Oscars) there is some great uses of silence when the rockets and capsules are in space and some great rumbling on the mix when the rockets take off or when something goes wrong.
Both of these elements made this very worthwhile in the cinema and will really shine on the new 4K Ultra HD format.
As for the performances well Mr Gosling was fine but he was pretty much his usual self he does a good job for sure but dialogue for me isn’t his strong suit particularly when it comes across as a little clunky at times, Claire Foy is great as Janet Armstrong who is trying to have something of a normal life and raise her family while also having to bear the burden of someone who could become a widow at any time not to mention live with having already lost a loved one and her grace and dignity out front that conceals a private fever, rage and feeling of powerlessness is fantastic to watch.
It gives me hope that she can overcome my doubts about her as Lisbeth Salander in the Girl in the Spiders Web next month and also I enjoyed seeing Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler and Ciaran Hinds in their small roles.
But lastly if I have a complaint and I do its that this movie is too long, at 141 minutes there are times where this movie drags with some sections of the story going on longer than it feels like it does and during those moments I was checking my watch and with a trimming of 5 to 10 minutes it would’ve made for a great film.
And so that was my review of First Man, a film I really liked despite being a little long, 3 and a half out of 5.