First Man: This film had Damien Chazelle's fingerprints all over it. After "Whiplash" and "La La Land", Chazelle has established a very distinctive visual and auditory signature (the latter together with Justin Hurwitz). The film had a docu-realistic feel to it whereby the story was told through Neil Armstrong's POV, and with that, came along a detailed sense of intimacy, when we explored his home/personal life, and also a genuine sense of trepidation and awe when he was at work and in space. Those scenes set within a space/air-craft were utterly gripping and by-your-seat tense, and that final act was fantastic, albeit surprisingly epic. Ryan Gosling remained an acting enigma, is his brooding, hardened stare and pursed lips meant to be serious actor or just brooding? Next to Claire Foy, whose every look carried so much more weight, the difference was noticeable. Nonetheless, this film has a good chance at the Oscars for multiple awards, and bare minimum for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
(Full review at bio)