In the space race you risk everything to be the First Man

Ryan Gosling re-teams with his La La Land director Damien Chazelle to go to the moon in FIRST MAN.

To open the 75th Venice Film Festival, you need a movie about a comparable milestone. And Alberto Barbera, the director of the festival, looks like he’s found it in director Damien Chazelle’s FIRST MAN. The film looks like a really thrilling recreation of the race to reach the moon in July 1969. Reuniting with one of the stars of his Oscar-winning smash La La Land, the magnificent Ryan Gosling, Chazelle follows astronaut Neil Armstrong through the years of adversity and sacrifice from 1961 to that iconic date when he and Buzz Aldrin (the terrific Corey Stoll) touchdown and make history.

We’ve already seen an exciting first trailer for the movie which debuted in mid-June. But the one that’s just been released to coincide with Venice premiere blew me away. It’s a superbly put together 2 minute 15-second taster of what we have to look forward to when the film opens in the U.K. and the U.S. on 12th October.

Deftly juxtaposing a voiceover of Gosling’s Armstrong softly singing a lullaby to his young daughter with the great human cost that went into achieving this mission, it’s extremely affecting. The trailer reminded me of the iconic one for The Dark Knight Rises. There you had a young boy singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in counterpoint to the mayhem that was being unleashed on Gotham city.

Chazelle has also assembled a pitch-perfect cast to tell this story. There’s the marvellous Jason Clarke as fellow astronaut Ed White, Patrick Fugit as Elliot See – along with Armstrong, the only other civilian pilot who made it into NASA – Pablo Schreiber as soon-to-be commander of the famous Apollo 13 mission Jim Lovell, Kyle Chandler as NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton, Ciaran Hinds as Director of NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, and The Crown’s award-winning Claire Foy as Janet Armstrong, it’s stellar stuff.

“Mum, what’s wrong?

Nothing honey. Your dad’s going to the moon.”

So, take that one small step and have a look at what is sure to be one of the films of the autumn…