First Man is a biopic historical film directed by Damien Chazelle. The plot shows the life of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), as he loses his daughter and enters the space program that would eventually lead him to the Moon. Chazelle has said he wanted this film to dive into Armstrong as a person rather than focus entirely on the Moon Landing.
So, I applaud Chazelle for not wanting to focus on the Moon Landing and instead wanting to focus on Armstrong as a person. I thought this film was at its strongest when it was showing these intimate character moments. Gosling mostly caries these scenes well and treats them with the significance they deserve, thought there are a few times when I thought he needed to emote more. His facial acting was hit and miss throughout the film.
My biggest issue with this film is how long it is. This film does not need to be two hour and twenty minutes, it does not justify that length. The film feels overly indulgent, it stretches out scenes that could be over in a few minute and worst of all, a good two thirds of the scenes especially in the second act feel like filler as the big Lunar landing is saved until the end.
Overall, I think the studio gave Chazelle too much leeway because of the success of La La Land as a result he made a bloated film that might have strong moments of well-done character study but is as a whole, boring.
Not focusing on the Moon Landing
The drama and the personal moments.
Gosling’s facial acting is off point
There is too much bloat
It is in desperate need of a tighter edit.
Reviewed by Luke