Ryan Gosling is Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. We get a very personal story of Armstrong’s life up until his small step. His relationship, children, constantly moving when he switches jobs, colleagues, etc.
The film opens with a somewhat frightening scene in which Armstrong takes a short flight outside the atmosphere. No smooth and romantic spaceflights, but the claustrophobia, constant shaking, creaking metal, extreme heat and extreme G-forces that an astronaut has to endure. The film does this very well. There is the constant threat that the astronauts will not come back after their ‘day of work’ which is either testing, test-flying or real flights. The family, all living together in a sort of camp, know that too. Yet all astronauts have partners and children.
This history lesson guides us through several Gemini projects and when the Americans cannot keep up with the Russians, more ambitious plans are made, leading to the Apollo missions.
“First Man” is a good, and apparently realistic film about the moon mission of the 1960’ies.