Circa 1968, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.
Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
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
Actor Ryan Gosling first discovered Armstrong's love of the Theremin during his background research with Armstrong's family and friends. He brought it to Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz's attention, who later chose to include the strange instrument in the score. See more »
Transmissions between the earth and the Apollo capsule as it neared the moon were shown as comments and instant responses while, in fact, the moon is 240,000 miles away and there is a 1.4 second delay in the time it takes for electronic signals to travel that distance. Thus, a comment on one end would take 1.4 seconds to reach the receiver with another 1.4 seconds for the response - a total of 2.8 seconds minimum between making a comment and receiving a response. See more »
In my opinion First Man fails on multiple levels. From a historical perspective, there is nearly no conveyance to the audience about the political motivation that was behind the entire program to get an American on the Moon before the Soviets. The Soviets' lead in the "space race" prior to the Apollo program had been considered an existential threat in the struggle for the hearts and minds of humanity and the American government considered it essential to win the race to the Moon. While the American flag is seen at a distance next to the lunar module, the actual planting of the flag on the moon was, in a certain sense, the entire raison d'être for the Apollo program and yet this moment was completely ignored by director Chazelle, making such a blatant omission seem an intentional anti-American political statement.
From a cinematic perspective, Chazelle seems obsessive in his constant use of closeups for even mundane moments and downright abusive in his use of "shaky shots" during moments of physical trauma. I always feel "cheated" when a director wimps out by an excessive use of shaky-shots as a cheap way to avoid the expense and creative effort otherwise required to depict what is actually happening to cause trauma.
From an acting and character development perspective, none of the characters gain our sympathy or empathy in this film. Its as if they are all reading their lines from a script rather than investing themselves with the spirit of the people they are supposed to be portraying. Armstrong, in particular, is portrayed by Gosling as extremely unemotional and cool, even when saying goodbye,
perhaps forever, to his wife and children. And while Armstrong may or may not have been that way, it seems overdone in this film. Strangest of all was Claire Foy's depiction of Janet Armstrong who is portrayed as constantly annoyed with her husband and resentful of the sacrifices he had to make as the first human selected to set foot on the moon. I find it hard to believe that Armstrong's wife could have been this way in reality and if she was not then Chazelle and Foy have done her a great disservice.
Finally, from a story-arc perspective, the movie's pace is plodding with Chazelle spending way too much time on the familial interactions of the Armstrong clan. While this may stem from the fact the movie was based on a biography of Armstrong rather than upon a depiction of the Apollo mission itself, the fact that this was, as far as I know, the first major cinematic portrayal of mankind's first voyage to the moon really deserved a much more expansive treatment than it receives in this film.
I am confident that this film will not be, nor should it be, the definitive telling of America's triumphant landing of man on the moon, a story that is epic and will require a director with an epic vision to tell the tale. It is with regret that I say that this movie and this director were not up to that task.
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