First Man

At its most riveting in the several scenes that put you in the cockpit, FIRST MAN (from director Damien Chazelle, in a big departure from his earlier LaLa Land) chronicles the years-long U.S. effort to put the first man on the moon, through the eyes of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). The film’s other aspects, grounded mostly by a grim through-line in the domestic life of Armstrong and his wife (a solid Claire Foy), suffer a bit from Gosling’s Gosling Face (Ryan Gosling, happy:   Ryan Gosling, sad:    Ryan Gosling, angry:    ). The effect isn’t quite deadening—the documentary-style camerawork and effective, restrained score lend some dynamism—but it constrains FIRST MAN to a lower orbit. Also of note: The primacy here of the white male; nonwhites are barely glimpsed, and women are only wives. It’s an inevitability of telling this story, from an era when only white men were deemed worthy of the best efforts and highest honors. But it’s interesting how things have changed in just a few decades, to render it striking how much this is about, first, man. —YSM

One response to “First Man”

  1. Sybil Costello says:

    So glad you are back. Missed your reviews, quips and instead ghts

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About Your Sacrificial Moviegoer

We love to sit in the dark with a big tub of popcorn amid a roomful of strangers. Reports on what we witness there come in two varieties: Bullet Reviews quickly and concisely convey our take on a film, always in spoiler-free fashion; Trailer Trash reveals Your Sacrificial Moviegoer's best prediction on whether an upcoming movie is worth seeing, based solely on the trailer (the short "previews" before the feature presentation).

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