The Record

A Real Look at the First Man on the Moon

Kyle Fallon, Reporter

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This isn’t your ordinary space movie. This is an emotional journey through the life of Neil Armstrong and his dream of going to the moon.

Based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hanson, director Damien Chazelle does a great job of adapting this book to film, and creating an experience like no other.

While the movie delves deep into the life of Armstrong it also does a great job of portraying what it was like to be an astronaut in the 1960’s.

If you’re claustrophobic this might not be the movie for you. A series of close-ups and extreme close-ups in high action scenes can make you feel like you were sitting in the cramp conditions that Neil and the other astronauts had to endure.

Ryan Gosling does a stellar job of conveying the changing emotions that went through Neil’s mind while facing the death of his daughter, the loss of friends, and the challenges of making a trip to walk on the moon. But just as important as that story is it’s just as important as that of his wife Janet’s.

Janet is portrayed by Claire Foy who subtly makes a great performance of a wife who takes care of her family, and must deal with the idea that every time her husband goes to work, he may die. Then on top of that there was also at risk of losing his own mind in the process. Foy plays a strong woman who provides what her children need in the absence of their father while he is trying to do something important for not just the country, but for himself as well.

This story isn’t just about the glory of one achieving space travel, but also about the tragedy that befell the astronauts who tried to achieve it. Jason Clarke plays Ed White, a close friend of Neil who tragically loses his life alongside two others in a testing accident. These deaths push Neil further towards the edge of a breaking point. 

In the final journey, you can see the seriousness of what this means to Neil. It’s to the point where it isn’t just about going to the moon anymore. In the end, you see Neil let go of the pain that has built up in him as he walks across the surface of the moon.

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A Real Look at the First Man on the Moon