Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr 21m
After the melodious fantasy of La La Land, director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling turn to a less romantic but equally engaging story - the struggle to put the first human on the Moon.
Knowing the audience's familiarity with the history book accounts of Neil Armstrong's fabled mission, Chazelle forgoes grand, sweeping flourishes in order to focus in on the man himself, only ever showing the huge enterprise from his perspective.
Playing Armstrong, Gosling retains a calm, intelligent face even as both his family and his nation seem to be on the brink of disaster - his infant daughter dies from a brain tumour in the years prior to the mission, and his very selection as Commander comes in the wake of the deaths of his colleagues in another, failed, flight.
Rather than overtly signal Armstrong's emotions, Chazelle leaves the audience to figure them out by putting them in his position (the flight itself, for example, is noisy and claustrophobic, yet still thrilling), making his bravery and achievement all the more impressive.
By demystifying the historic event, Chazelle and Gosling make it feel more impressive and immediate than ever.
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