Television review Top director Damien Chazelle fails to do his best when he tells of Neil Armstrong’s journey to the surface of the moon

Ryan Gosling steps into Neil Armstrong’s space boot in the film First Month.

In the first month ★★★

First Man, USA 2018

TV5 on Sunday at 9 p.m.

Accelerate the speed of the aircraft so high that the cam begins to glow in the friction of the air flow. Guide the machine into space. When the gravity disappears, take the necessary notes. Don’t panic, even as you bounce back from the atmosphere back towards the dark cosmos on the way back.

The movie In the first month an excellent opening scene grabs the viewer Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) to the flight deck. The special nature of the profession becomes clear. We know that even more special is promised when an astronaut is baked from a test pilot.

The drama, based on the official biography of the first lunar, is directed by a surprising name, Damien Chazelle (b. 1985). His previous films have been so closely tied to music that it makes sense to joke about a director grabbing Armstrong because he assumed his first name was Louis.

Chazellen in the debut film Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) the male protagonist was specifically a trumpet player. More broadly, Chazelle tinted with drum drama Whiplash (2014) and rose to become the youngest Oscar-winning director of all time with a charming musical La La Land (2016). Ryan Gosling was also starring at the time.

From a mini-series set for the Jazz Club The Eddy (2020) Chazelle directed the first two episodes, competently but not memorably. The same can be said for the most part In the first month movie.

In the beginning, Armstrong has to get excited with his Janet wives (Claire Foy), whether two-year-old daughter Karen survives her brain tumor.

The choice for the Gemini space program brings to the picture other astronauts with their families. The description of the community is reminiscent of Ron Howardin guidance Apollo 13 (1995), but Chazelle is more critical of the danger to life posed by astronauts.

Compared to To Apollo 13 and the fact-based company that followed the U.S. test pilots To the champion group (1983) Chazelle basically has the advantage of concentrating on one astronaut. However, quite far from the emotionally restrained Armstrong is left. Janet’s female perspective, on the other hand, is very husband-centric.

But on the flight of the Apollo 11, the tension condenses again. Especially as a viewer, one would be thirsty to feel what it was like to direct the landing module to the surface of the moon, but the connection between what Armstrong saw and did now does not perceive nearly as it did in the beginning.

Even a historic lunar walk is distanced in vain: Armstrong’s voice is heard from the radio, not from inside the helmet, and the scenery gets too much space. Only when Armstrong steps on the edge of the crater does Chazelle reach his protagonist again.

A good grip lasts until the end, which, however, comes surprisingly soon.

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