There are two ways of talking about the historical accuracy of First Man, the Damien Chazelle biopic of Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, starring Ryan Gosling: the easy way and the hard way. The hard way is to explore all of the things the movie got right — which is a very, very long list. The easy way is to discuss the things it got wrong, which you could count on one hand — literally.

It is one of the many triumphs of First Man that it tells an exceedingly complicated story of an exceedingly complicated man — a story populated by dozens of other important figures — and does so almost entirely without eliding or streamlining the truth, or worse, inventing things completely. A lot of the credit for that accuracy goes to the diligence of James R. Hansen, the author of the First Man biography, and Josh Singer, who adapted the book for the screen. It says something too that the few mistakes First Man does make are relatively small-bore stuff.

One of those blunders appears early, in the very first moments of the movie, during the scene of a harrowing flight Armstrong took in an X-15 rocket plane …read more

Source:: Time – Science


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