About the film
Director: Damien Chazelle
Actors: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Corey StollEmotional, gripping, and incredibly true, FIRST MAN is a remarkable study of mankind’s greatest triumph, the sacrifices that made it possible, and the quiet, earnest man who took our first steps into the unknown.
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the Moon. Set during the height of the space race between the United States and Russia, FIRST MAN tracks Armstrong from a near fatal crash on the outskirts of Edwards Air Force Base to his trip to the moon and back again. On more than one occasion it was Armstrong’s severely cool countenance that prevented him from being incinerated into dust. The pressure of trying to reach the moon first, and the risks they’re willing to take to get there, is suddenly brought into a new clarity that is more than about solving an equation. Neil’s wife, Janet (Claire Foy), is not wholly wrong when she suggests they can, at times, resemble boys making it up as they go along.
Janet carries much of the emotional weight as the lone half of the marriage as Neil goes to extraordinary lengths not to have to talk about, think about, or deal with his feelings. Gossling's introverted, stoic Neil Armstrong is both powerful and empathetic, and perhaps Armstrong’s almost robotic reserve is what’s needed of a lunar explorer.
From Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle (LA LA LAND) and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Josh Singer (SPOTLIGHT), FIRST MAN adapts James R. Hansen's biography. As Armstrong, Chazelle’s LA LA LAND collaborator Ryan Gosling is joined by Corey Stoll (HOUSE OF CARDS) as Buzz Aldrin, and Claire Foy (THE CROWN) as Armstrong's wife Janet Shearon.