It’s the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic events of all-time: The Moon Landing. And to all the crazy nay-sayers out there: It. Did. Happen.
If you’re a NASA junkie, or you’re just in the mood for some pop culture and U.S. history nostalgia, here are five recommendations to honor the occasion:
“A GRAND DAY OUT” (1989)
The first-ever Wallace and Gromit stop-motion short film sees the beloved characters head to the Moon looking for… what else?… Cheese, Gromit – Cheese! “Grand” was nominated for the ’90 Best Animated Short Film Oscar, but director Nick Park lost to… himself. He also directed the night’s winner, “Creature Comforts”. Park would receive three more Oscars for two other “W&G” shorts and “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” feature. He was also nominated for “W&G”’s 2008 short “A Matter of Loaf and Death”.
“IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON” (2007)
This Sundance Film Festival winning and Critics Choice nominated documentary from Ron Howard and David Sington was one of my first exposures to the genre when I saw it. Featuring interviews with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and more, it’s a picture perfect examination of the Apollo 11 mission.
“THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB” (2015)
ABC’s 10-episode miniseries is one of my favorite shows of the decade. It chronicles the early days of the space program from the perspective of the spouses. JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Yvonne Strahovski, Odette Annabelle lead the strong cast, along with Luke Kirby as the pivotal LIFE magazine writer profiling the women.
“HIDDEN FIGURES” (2016)
The trio of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae lead this inspiring SAG Award Best Ensemble winner about the mathematicians who greatly influenced NASA. Kevin Costner and Mahershala Ali are also terrific.
“FIRST MAN” (2018)
“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle’s Academy Award winning drama is a poetic look at Neil Armstrong. Ryan Gosling’s quiet, understated and Critics Choice nominated performance is full of subtle power. Claire Foy equally delivers with her Golden Globe, Critics Choice and BAFTA nominated work as wife Janet. It’s an old-fashioned, moving film with a heartwarming (and heart-stopping) final section.