First Man, a movie about the late Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that saw him become the first man to walk on the Moon, hits theaters today. Directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, the film begins in 1961 as the US trails the Soviet Union in the space race and takes viewers up to the Moon landing in 1969.
While the movie is sure to invoke nostalgic feelings for BabyBoomers, and product placement for the Omega Speedmaster; rumor has it the defining moment of the Lunar Landing – the planting of Old Glory in the lunar landscape – didn’t make the final copy.
Since the film’s debut at the Venice Film Festival, criticism has surfaced that this was a deliberate effort to downplay American patriotism. Even Gosling himself defended the decision by saying the achievement ‘transcended countries and borders.’
Buzz Aldrin gave them a piece of his mind but, I’m willing to give the guy a pass. After all, he is Canadian. Perhaps he’s never seen his country’s flag on the aptly named “CanadaArm“, Canada’s contribution to NASA’s Space Shuttle program.
Still, it’s pathetic. I was genuinely looking forward to this film. Now, I’ll hold out for the Chinese bootleg version. Then again, why not pull together a few clips and roll our own…