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First Man (2018)

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A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Director:

Damien Chazelle

Writers:

Josh Singer (screenplay by), James R. Hansen (based on the book by)
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Popularity
51 ( 12)

Which Blockbusters Did Ryan Gosling Turn Down?

When you're two-time Oscar nominee and global fan favorite Ryan Gosling, sometimes it seems you can do whatever you want, like turning down some of Hollywood's hottest roles.

See some of the roles Ryan nixed

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 8 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Neil Armstrong
Claire Foy ... Janet Armstrong
Jason Clarke ... Ed White
Kyle Chandler ... Deke Slayton
Corey Stoll ... Buzz Aldrin
Patrick Fugit ... Elliot See
Christopher Abbott ... Dave Scott
Ciarán Hinds ... Bob Gilruth
Olivia Hamilton ... Pat White
Pablo Schreiber ... Jim Lovell
Shea Whigham ... Gus Grissom
Lukas Haas ... Mike Collins
Ethan Embry ... Pete Conrad
Brian d'Arcy James ... Joe Walker
Cory Michael Smith ... Roger Chaffee
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Storyline

A Biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel. Written by Matthew Villella

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One giant leap into the unknown. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,006,065, 14 October 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$44,839,155, 17 December 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | DTS (DTS: X)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James R. Hansen, biographer of Neil Armstrong, co-produces the film. It is thanks to him that the project was able to succeed. Indeed, the astronaut had full confidence in the one who became his friend over the years. "For Neil, as long as you followed Jim's path, there was no problem in making this movie," said producer Wyck Godfrey, who had the chance to meet Armstrong before his death on August 25, 2012. After his death, it was essential to have the support of his family. His sons met the screenwriter Josh Singer and the director Damien Chazelle and were convinced by their concern for accuracy and authenticity. See more »

Goofs

The X-15 flight depicted in the film where the aircraft bounces back out of the atmosphere occurred on April 20, 1962 not in 1961 as shown in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Janet Armstrong: It'll be an adventure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Universal Parks & Resorts logo at the end See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Whitey On The Moon
Written by Gil Scott-Heron
Performed by Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges appears courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Understated Biopic
16 October 2018 | by Jared_AndrewsSee all my reviews

The opening scene will take your breath away. I don't think a single cell in my body flinched for a solid five minutes as I watched Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) fight to keep his craft from floating away into space. The scene is spectacular visually and in every sense of filmmaking execution. It's also a bit misleading.

The rest of the movie, aside from the moon landing, is remarkably tame. It's quiet. There are virtually no loud outbursts or emotional speeches. This story is about people doing their jobs, completing their missions. Gosling understands this and plays to Armstrong's stoicism perfectly. He is often an understated actor, choosing to let his subtle facial movements and glints of the eyes do as much talking as what actually comes out of his mouth. Neil is much the same except even less outwardly expressive. He clearly comes from a generation that did not display emotion. They suffered in silence, which no doubt frustrated many family members, especially spouses.

Armstrong's wife Janet (Claire Foy) is a classic case of a spouse desperate to glimpse beyond his emotional shield. She restrains for the most part, but her building frustration is apparent throughout. When she finally does unleash her emotions, it's startling. Her outbursts stand out in such stark contrast to the silence that we see from the other characters. Foy is smart and measured with every choice she makes, and she never comes across as unhinged or overly supportive to a point of unbelievability. She's strong as a quiet devoted partner and strong when she senses the need to speak up. Look for her to add another award nomination to her resume come that time of year.

For as great as Gosling and Foy are, Damien Chazelle is the star of this movie, just like he has been the star of every one of his movies. I don't mean this as a bad thing. They guy is simply so skilled at what he does that his impact stands out among all the other standouts in his movies. He doesn't take the conventional approach to a space movie, which is to hammer viewers with showy visuals and action sequences. He's careful not to overdo it those areas, instead focusing on Armstrong's psyche and life outside the space shuttle. Chazelle crafts a personal, intimate film and shoots it in a creative way that uses a variety of framing choices so the closeups never feel stale.

This is a giant story told on a deliberately small scale. The choice to focus on Armstrong's objectively less captivating homelife rather than the moon mission is risky. Only the most talented of filmmakers, which Chazelle is, could pull it off. "First Man" is another showcase of Chazelle's mastery. He's one of the best directors currently working. The fact that this film may eventually be considered Chazelle's 6th or 7th best and is still this excellent, is a tribute to his talent.


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