Sunday, October 28, 2018

First Man

Sadly, hasn't been much I've wanted to see recently.  First Man, about the first human landing on the moon, struck me as something that might be majestic on the big screen.  The film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong with direction by Damien Chazelle of La La Land fame.

The film begins excitingly with Armstrong piloting an experimental rocket plane perilously above Earth's atmosphere.  Space exploration is dangerous.  Armstrong tests a lunar lander and bails out before it crashes in flames.  Pilot friends die regularly.

Armstrong was apparently a very cool, buttoned down customer, which made him a perfect for a job where composure under stress is paramount.  As the dramatic focus of the film, however, his extreme self control leaves us without investment or eventually any interest.  Structuring this film around Armstrong drained the blood out of what should have been an intriguing subject.  Claire Foy plays the long-suffering wife trying to draw him out of his shell, but it's a losing battle.  The film just never achieves momentum.

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