7.5/10 My 4th Most Anticipated Film of 2018 came up with mixed results for me. Yes, this is a solid film that is absolutely worth seeing. Yet, it is also Damien Chazelle’s weakest of his directorial efforts, falling short of the extremely high bar he set for himself by directing “Whiplash” and “La La Land”. The first half of the film is stronger than the second half as we get to see a crash landing and the selection process followed by all the intense training that astronauts have to go through. I almost wish there was more of those scenes. I was unaware that Neil Armstrong and his wife had lost a child and how heavy of an impact it took on Armstrong. He was a very flawed man whom often neglected his wife and kids in exchange for solitude and work. Ryan Gosling does an excellent job of playing him in a very restrained manner, which those types of performances are often overlooked for the showier ones but this takes an equal amount of talent. Claire Foy does a great job of portraying his wife and she has a couple of great scenes so she isn’t just a generic wife/mom character. The loss of life that takes place while working for NASA and testing never before used technology is equal parts heroic and depressing but the film does a solid job in showing you how high the stakes were when it came to the space race and making it to the moon. The second half of the film does slow down and lose some of its steam and even the actual moon landing I found to be slightly anti-climactic. However, the cinematography is extremely well done as we view a lot of this film through the eyes of these astronauts, their uncomfortable shakiness and all. Justin Hurwitz provides what is the best original score of the year and in particular, the track “The Landing” is the best single piece of music written for any film in 2018 that I have listened to on repeat ever since seeing this film. I guess it was only a matter of time before Chazelle made a film that wasn’t a 9/10 or 10/10 but like all great directors, even their lesser work is still better than most directors’ best films and this is still a visually stunning, masterfully acted, historically interesting and perfectly scored film that everyone should check out.
#RightInTheNeils / #OverTheMoonForThisFilm / #FetchArmstrong / #GettingBuzzed / #LaLaLanding / #DeathSpaceRace