Nearly a half-century has passed since the majestic moment when Neil Armstrong stepped carefully onto the lunar landscape, left foot first, taking that giant leap for mankind.
Whether you were alive then and glued to the TV, or relived it later through that iconic, grainy NASA footage, what you probably remember is just that: The majesty.
You’re probably not thinking much about the deafening noise, the claustrophobia, the terror of blasting off in a rickety sardine can that could fail at any moment for any of a thousand reasons. Or the fact that Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could have ended up stranded, left to die on the moon; President Richard Nixon had a speech ready for that dark scenario.
You will, though, be thinking of these things as you watch “First Man,” the latest instalment in director Damien Chazelle’s meteoric career — and sorry for the space pun, but it’s entirely apt. An intimate character study that somehow becomes grand just when it needs to, “First Man,” based on the book by James R. Hansen with a script by Josh Singer, is a worthy successor not only to Chazelle’s “Whiplash” and “La La Land,” but to