By now, most who wanted to see this film will have done so. I've had to wait all this time for a convenient screening.
It's a film of two parts, running in tandem - first, and for me the far more interesting one (I'm a lifelong avid space nerd) being the selection and training of Neil Armstrong, played by Ryan Gosling, in the run up to the moon landing in 1969, with some extraordinary re-creations. The other is the domestic, familial setting of the Armstrong family with his wife (Claire Foy) so concerned about the risks her husband is taking that her every appearance for me dragged the film down, being the irritant that she was in her perennially dour mood, worried about him leaving their children fatherless, they having seen their near neighbour lose his life in a malfunction which had turned the space capsule into a fireball. killing all three astronauts on board - an horrifying event which those of my age will recall in the news of the time.
I realise that the purpose of the film was to depict the human element of the story with more emphasis than such films generally do, and to that extent it was triumphant. However, such a constant juxtaposition of moods between the excitement and headiness of the venture itself and the lowly humdrum of down-to-earth life vexed me somewhat in this long film. I could have done with far less of the latter in a much truncated film.
As I say, the training routines for Armstrong (and his colleagues Aldrin and Collins) are spectacularly brought to life, and the space images themselves are extraordinary, though condensed, of course, from hours and even days down to a very few minutes. Highly impressive nonetheless.
Director Damien Chazelle was already a name to be reckoned with with, among his very few directing projects to date are included 'La La Land' and 'Whiplash'. This latest film can only add to his notable achievements.
I might have rated this film higher if it had concentrated more on the space aspect rather than give equal time to the human story. I could have lived better with a 70;30 ratio, but that's a very personal opinion. Nevertheless, still a rare good watch................7.
(IMDb..................7.7 / Rott. Toms.............8.1 )
32 minutes ago
We're seeing this on the weekend! Cannot wait!ReplyDelete
You might like it (even) more than I did, Bob, if you're not put off by the human side of the story which, for me being Astronomy-minded, was much too distracting, though for some that might be the very side which might appeal.Delete
If I'd been willing to travel and pay more I could have seen it in IMAX and I'm certain that it would have helped a lot, though on a 'normal' sized screen it still looks spectacular. If you can catch it on giant screen I'd recommend it.
It is sometime since I saw it now but your review seems to fit with mine from memory. I remember that I enjoyed the film a lot because I liked the human side and was not wanting to see lots of rockets. I thought Gosling and Foy were excellent and as I said at the time, I did not notice that the film was long. It is all coming back to me now! Thanks Raymondo.ReplyDelete
Interesting that you enjoyed it for the aspect which I didn't, Rachel, and vice versa, yet both of us coming out with much the same level of satisfaction at the experience. Shows just how fair-sided the film was. Must admit though, that Foy may well be a fine actress but I did inwardly groan every time her sullen character appeared. Not her fault, I know.Delete
I thought the wife was portrayed brilliantly, no silly excitement or over exuberance, but just as I imagined the wife should be in a situation as dangerous as this mission clearly was.Delete
I found it interesting that Armstrong and his wife divorced...the ultimate price for his obsession me thinksDelete
I didn't know that, JayGee, or it hadn't registered. Not exactly a shock, though.Delete
After both your's and Rachel's review I would give this a go. Maybe it's a female thing but I too like a bit of personal life along with it. I think as John says it is interesting that Armstrong and his wife divorced. I think he is right that it is difficult to live with someone with an obsession.ReplyDelete
Yes, their divorce would be perfectly understandable, Carol. If I hadn't been so mad keen on the science aspect of this film then the human story wouldn't have appeared so much as it did to me as getting in the way. You should like the film for whatever reason and I would definitely suggest everyone sees it.Delete
Your appraisal of the film is spot on for me. Neither of the Armstrongs came out very well in the personal life parts, he was cold and distant and she was a depressive nag. But the space scenes were a real eye opener. I have far more admiration for those first astronauts now, having seen what they were sent up into space in.ReplyDelete
I think both Mr and Mrs Armstrong were portrayed credibly because it's easy for us to think that this is how each of them would be feeling in their unique circumstances, even if for us it's with the benefit of hindsight. Although we can well sympathise with her attitude she must have been Hell to live with - and could only have added to Neil A.'s thoughts of "Just what have I done to agree to be put through this?" But I agree that the space training and moon journey/landing scenes were what carried the film and redeemed it.Delete