REVIEW: ‘First Man’ is Out of this World

You’ll have to excuse the cheesy pun in the title, but if you happen to stop by the movie theater this month to buy a ticket to Damien Chazelle’s latest film, First Man, then you will fully understand.

First Man tells the story of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), a man that almost everyone on the face of the planet knew as the first man (an apt title) to walk on the moon. It follows Armstrong’s story from the death of his daughter in 1961 until he says the words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” on the lunar surface in July 1969.

Out of this world is the only way to describe this larger than life movie. It’s more than just a biopic about one of the greatest Americans of modern times, it’s a tale of perseverance under pressure and courage in the face of uncertainty.

First Man gives you gorgeous cinematography coupled with a gripping sound design that gives the movie theater the atmosphere of actually feeling as though you’re left the surface of the Earth. It made me sad that I didn’t see it in IMAX. There are long held sequences that give you the full gravity of the situation and the many failed attempts at space travel also up the ante for Armstrong’s survival in the famous Apollo 11 mission.

The acting performances by Gosling and Claire Foy (who portrays Armstrong’s wife, Janet) are spectacular. Gosling plays Armstrong as a reserved but loving family man who dares to dream of something more than a simple life on Earth, while Foy gives Janet a real gravitas that pulls her in as the cornerstone of her family unit. I expect both to contend for their respective Oscars this time. It might finally be Gosling’s turn. *fingers crossed*

First Man has the potential to not only win several Oscars at next year’s Academy Awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Cinematography, etc.), but has also marked itself as the early frontrunner for my own personal favorite movie of 2018….which is more prestigious than an Oscar, in my opinion (LOL). After this afternoon, I’m fully convinced that Damien Chazelle can’t make a movie without it being an absolute showstopper. Go see it this weekend.