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First Man 12 rating

Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong in this powerful and sometimes petrifying biopic from the director of La La Land.

Drama 2018 141 mins

Director: Damien Chazelle



Director Damien Chazelle takes a tonal turn following the swooning La La Land, bringing to the fore the tension and terror displayed in his debut Whiplash, with this intermittently nerve-shredding account of the 1969 Moon landings. Eschewing the jingoistic thrills of films like The Right Stuff (1983), Chazelle instead presents the 20th-century triumph as an intimate character study of the inscrutable Neil Armstrong, brilliantly portrayed by Gosling as the emotionally cold - almost blank - portal through which America's grand visions are tethered. Focusing on the psychic toll the moon-race has on Armstrong's wife (Claire Foy) and family, First Man questions whether such symbolic feats are ever worth the human cost.

Stunningly shot by cinematographer Linus Sandgren (American Hustle), and featuring as memorable musical cameo from soul artist Leon Bridges, Chazelle has crafted a distinctively understated and unromantic epic of American endeavour.