The 499th film I have seen in theaters…
“Fly me to the moon….”
Neil Armstrong loses his daughter to cancer, struggles with family life, and works tirelessly as a member of the Gemini and Apollo astronaut programs. If you don’t know what this man did, I can’t help you.
Ryan Gosling continues his winning streak as Neil Armstrong. What impressed me the most, and riled critics, was how cold and boring Gosling played Armstrong. He was a quiet man, not flashy. He was not the bombastic American hero Hollywood loves to put forward. Instead, Gosling played Armstrong as he actually was. In doing so, he did service to the man’s memory and made his story all the more realistic for the viewer.
Claire Foy plays Armstrong’s wife Janet. Their marriage was a cold one it seems. The death of their daughter, and Neil’s emotional distance being the main causes, in the film at least. It was a bit strange to have her berating him on the eve of his moon mission, but I suppose it was realistic.
Corey Stoll is Buzz Aldrin, and he plays him full-asshole lol. Not sure what old Buzz thinks about it, but I suppose its pretty close to reality.
Jason Clarke is Ed White, one of the doomed Astronauts of Apollo 1. The story focused on him rather than Gus Grissom, which I rather liked as the Commander, Grissom, normally got the spotlight.
Damien Chazelle made an excellent film. He told us the story of the US Space Program in a new way, which was refreshing. He focused on Armstrong, his family, and his view on things. Rather than show us sweeping shots of outer space and the rockets barrelling through the sky, he puts the camera in the cockpit. We hear what they heard, saw what they saw. It was awesome to behold. One of the best NASA films made. Apollo 13 might have the edge though. Tom Hanks is pretty great.