Film Critic: First Man

Critics apparently like this film, the story of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the surface of the moon. Audiences like it less. I didn’t like it at all.

Hidden Figures, a 2016 drama that told the true story of black female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the space race — roughly the same period as First Man — offered characters with depth and nuance. First Man is a hyper masculine guy film. The only female roles are the astronaut wives who stay home chasing the children and remaining stoic when their husbands are killed in test flights. They have no depth or character at all.

2001 A Space Odyssey had gorgeous cinematography, and an epically imaginative quality to the narrative. First Man has lots of close-ups of Ryan Gosling’s terse and unemotional face, lots of clatter and banging and starkly flashing lights, and at 2hrs 21 minutes running time, a pace that constantly left me checking my FitBit to see if the film was close to being over. The movie is loud, I’ll give you that. I can’t imagine seeing it in IMax, which I guess is also a possibility. If you do that, bring ear plugs.

Film critics are already proclaiming this as an Oscar contender. I can’t imagine.

On a scale of 1-10, don’t recommend at all.

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