First Man launches into theaters

Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle re-team to bring another spectacular film to audiences


Universal Pictures

The poster for the film

Scorsese and DiCaprio, Tarantino and L. Jackson, these two film duos have, time and again, impressed audiences around the globe with their films. Now, after their most recent film First Man, audiences may have a new film-making duo to look out for: director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling. These two have given people two of the most Oscar-worthy films made in recent years, first teaming up to take on the 2016 musical La La Land before recouping to tackle the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to ever step on the moon.

Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle

This new dynamic duo has had a lot to live up to going into this film, after their previous outing was nominated for an astounding 14 Oscars (an Oscars record). However, by all intents and purposes, they absolutely lived up to all expectations. The final product of the film is an intensely personal story about a man who’s trying to balance life as both an astronaut and a husband/father.

The first thing taken from this film after leaving theaters is the fantastic acting of Ryan Gosling as Armstrong. The actor completely took over the role of the astronaut, conveying a realistic character in his portrayal–a character that you want, more than anything, to succeed. While many may know the astronaut’s famous line, “One small step for man…” many people are unaware of the deeply personal story behind Armstrong’s journey to the moon. Gosling and Chazelle manage to take all of these deep emotions and relay them to the audience in a compelling, entertaining fashion.

The next thing taken from theaters is the brilliant visuals. The cinematography used in First Man manages to do something that most space films haven’t; it genuinely shows what it was like to be in one of those tin-can shuttles, flying thousands of miles per hour into space. Chazelle uses handheld cameras to show the claustrophobic atmosphere of the capsule. As a person who’s not an astronaut, it’s hard to truly understand how awful the conditions the Apollo crew were living in; the capsules were dirty, relatively unsafe, and very compact. In particular the sequence that takes place on the moon was jaw-droppingly beautiful.

An example of the beautiful cinematography of the film

Critics have held similar beliefs about the film, with most of the praise going to Gosling and the cinematography. Sadly, the film did not connect with audiences as much as it did with critics. The film opened against the box-office smash Venom, and it never made much of a breakthrough.

As of now, both Chazelle and Gosling have no new projects lined up. However, I and countless others hope that, sooner rather than later, they connect once more to wow audiences again.