"Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"        

“First Man” launches a New Trailer after a soaring debut at the Venice Film Festival


Yesterday morning, folks not over in Italy woke up to news that Damien Chazelle’s latest outing was indeed an Oscar player. Yes, First Man debuted at the Venice Film Festival to highly positive reviews. Much like his prior two films, Whiplash and especially La La Land, festival buzz is likely to propel this one very far in the Awards Season. In fact, this is only the first fest for the flick, as it has more to come very shortly. In addition, the movie dropped a second Trailer to coincide with this launch (no pun intended). We’ll share that with you too today, as we dive in a bit to dissect First Man’s first wave of buzz/reviews!

Once again, the film is a biopic of Neil Armstrong, arguably the world’s most famous astronaut. Here is the official synopsis that Universal Pictures has provided: “On the heels of their six-time Academy Award-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner (The Fault in Our Stars) executive produces. Amblin Entertainment co-finances the film.” Gosling obviously plays Armstrong, while at home Claire Foy portrays his wife. According to the early buzz, much of it focuses on Armstrong and the on the ground prep that went into literally launching a man into space and on to the surface of the moon. Chazelle directs the script by Singer, which originally was an adaptation penned by Nicole Perlman. The cast also includes Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Ethan Embry, Patrick Fugit, Olivia Hamilton, Lukas Haas, Ciarán Hinds, Brian d’Arcy James, Pablo Schreiber, Corey Stoll, Kris Swanberg, and Shea Whigham, among others. Behind the camera is Linus Sandgren, while Tom Cross edits and Justin Hurwitz composed the score for Chazelle.


Judging by what the folks at Venice had to say, and by looking at this new Trailer, it seems like another home run for Chazelle. Gosling is praised for a quietly powerful turn as Armstrong, while Foy is said to be best in show, acting wise, and a potential threat in Best Supporting Actress (more on that in a minute). The reviews actually make it seem like First Man could be this year’s Dunkirk, only with more acting potential. I’m sure Universal and company would sign up for that in a heartbeat. The Trailer too suggests all of that, as it improves upon the initial one, showcasing something truly stunning.

As it stands, First Man still has to be considered an across the board Academy Award contender. Look for a big campaign by Universal going forward, including efforts in Best Picture, Best Director (for Chazelle), Best Actor (for Gosling), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler, Clarke, and/or Stoll), Best Supporting Actress (for Foy, since it seems like she isn’t going Lead), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Perlman and Singer), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Hairstyling & Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. Nothing is set in stone right now, but at this moment, now that it has been seen, these are all still distinct possibilities. Until we see more contenders, which will happen shortly, there’s no reason not to predict it all over the place.

You can see the second Trailer for First Man next, and it’s a really good one. From Venice, the film is expected to go to a few other places, including, as we just learned a few hours ago, the upcoming Telluride Film Festival. Wherever it goes, the movie seems likely to make an impact. It’ll be hitting theaters in a month and a half too, so the wait won’t be unbearably long. For now, check out the Trailer and sit tight for more buzz on this potentially huge Oscar flick. First Man is going to be a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure…

Here now is the new Trailer for First Man:

Stay tuned for more on First Man between now and its October 12th release date, especially as it plays more film festivals!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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