- Don Ford
Don Reviews "First Man"
Space travel is something that many have dreamed of but only few have been able to do because of what it takes to be able to handle it. There is a lot of danger involved, and the process to be able to lift off past the atmosphere is nothing short of rigorous. Add to that the added danger of going to and walking on the moon, and that list is incredibly short. Only one could be the first, and that man was Neil Armstrong, who is the subject of award-winning director Damien Chazelle’s latest film, “First Man”.
Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong as it chronicles his journey from being a test pilot for the “Century Series” to Gemini 8 and to the famous Apollo 11 mission and how it affected both his professional and personal lives. Complimented by a cast the includes Claire Foy (The Crown) as his wife Janet, Pablo Schreiber as Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks in “Apollo 13”), Kyle Chandler, Ciaran Hinds, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas, and Ethan Embry, this is a good film that portrays its subject and environments very well. With a shooting style that matches the time that it is set in, it was easy for me to get locked in with the story.
For me, although Gosling is good in this role, I had trouble connecting with the character. Foy works well with him, but the style of the portrayal of Neil Armstrong just did not click in as I watched “First Man”. This is also a very long film (that feels it) at almost two and a half hours that has a very abrupt ending and no “this is what happened after” information. I liked the realism of the story that it tells, but I can only recommend it as a matinee showing in the theater.