← Back to Reviews
First Man (2018) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/first-man/

I feel I should preempt my review by again pointing out that I find the ins and outs of real life space a massively boring subject, and I swear the second anyone starts talking mechanics of space or rockets, my brain instantly goes to sleep. I can appreciate the technical beauty involved in so much of the space sequences, but while they were the bits I imagine most of the audience enjoyed the most, they were the bits I enjoyed the least.

So what did I enjoy then if space is boring in a biopic of the first man on the moon? Basically the biopic part. It is an incredibly human story, which is probably as fitting as it gets for a man who is immortalised as an all time American hero, but was always humble and never felt that way about himself. It is a very touching and well done piece about masculinity and the ways in which men feel they can and cant express their emotions, a man who lost so many around him, in the name of a mission that robbed the world of so many lives, and the expectation to just soldier for his country and his duty, at all expense of family and humanity. In a way, it almost felt like an 'anti-war' space film, not so much glamourising space travel, NASA, the Apollo mission, the American dream and all that, but more questioning was all this sacrifice really worthwhile?

Fantastic sensitive performances all round from Gosling and Foy, and in a smaller role, Jason Clarke, who I like more and more every time I see him in anything. The fact that we see how the mission affected not just the men, but also their wives and families who were expected to support them, brings it all home. Best part though? That score? Incredible, one of the best Ive ever heard. I can see there being a lot of arguments over this film come Oscar season, but that musical score will take some serious beating. Stunning.