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 one of his children 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. And what you also notice is that Chazelle has assembled a pitch-perfect cast to tell this story. From The Crown’s award-winning Claire Foy as Janet Armstrong to the marvellous Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Pablo Schreiber and Kyle Chandler, with Ciaran Hinds stepping into Ed Harris’s memorable Apollo 13 shoes to play mission control boss Gene Kranz, 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…