The Eagle Angle

‘First Man’ review: The classic tale of Apollo 11 soars to new heights

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Compiled by| Tea Mcgilvray

Compiled by| Tea Mcgilvray

Compiled by| Tea Mcgilvray

Tea Mcgilvray, Online editor

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A dynamically immersive experience, director Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” is well-deserving of an Oscar. The latest depiction of the famous Apollo landing, starring Ryan Gosling, is based on James Hansen’s biography also titled “First Man.”Although there have been many attempts to shed light on Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind, the cinematography makes this rendition unique.

The ‘60’s era, sepia-toned shots and grainy lenses, make the film look familiar, like old photos of your grandparents. It’s a reminiscence of the great space race, a time unknown to younger generations. Combined with nostalgic visuals and old-timey voices and dialogue, there are also bursts of intensity during space scenes which were all-encompassing and left you hanging on the edge of your seat.

‘First Man’ is a film of few words. The copious amount of focus on the intensity of space itself takes away from Armstrong’s emotional background, from the loss of his daughter to the struggle of losing his colleagues. However, the film adaptation still has its exaggerations of the truth when it comes Armstrong’s reactions to certain events. Overall, Ryan Gosling does Armstrong and the time period justice, understanding the complex process of becoming an astronaut, and he adds his typical comedic effect to Armstrong’s journey on the Apollo 11.

Despite the film’s ending, which left much to be desired, supporting actress Claire Foy’s performance as Janet presents a character you can’t help but empathize with on some level. Many of the less developed characters also present themselves this way. It is clear how NASA impacts the lives of Neil Armstrong and the space community reaching out onto culture itself.

After viewing ‘First Man,’ I feel as though I have experienced what Americans felt during this period, understanding the sense of pride of earlier generations. The film sheds a positive light on the importance of NASA’s accomplishments and technological innovations. Chazelle’s inspiring biopic is a fairly accurate depiction of the events leading up to the Apollo space flight, but still offers action and excitement. Overall, “First Man’s” incredible casting and unique cinematography is well deserving of an A.

 

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