You don’t schedule a film on the opening night of the Venice Film Festival without assuming that it’ll make waves, but judging by the atmosphere around Damien Chazelle’s First Man, the Neil Armstrong biopic is out of this world. Critics at the festival are hailing it as a giant leap for Chazelle, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it “a strikingly intelligent treatment of a defining moment for America that broadens the [director’s] tonal range.” (It’s a smaller step for Ryan Gosling, who turns in what the Independent calls another tightly controlled performance.) Variety says it eclipses not just Chazelle’s earlier work, but also every other space movie, raving that it’s “so immersive in its glitchy, hurtling, melting-metal authenticity that it makes … Apollo 13 look like a puppet show.” Talk about buzz! Unless something happens to crater its chances, I think we’ve found one of the films this Oscar season will revolve around. Watch the latest trailer below, which dropped shortly after the film’s Venice debut.
Ryan Gosling in First Man. Photo: Universal Pictures