Expectations are very high for First Man.
Not just because it is telling the story of Neil Armstrong’s extraordinary career as an astronaut, the pinnacle of which saw him become the first man to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969, but because it also reunites director Damien Chazelle with Ryan Gosling, who previously worked together on “La La Land.”
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jason Clarke, who stars in “First Man” as Ed White, the first man to walk in space, and he immediately started to heap praise on the biopic and Chazelle as soon as the film was mentioned.
“That is seriously going to be a wild, wild ride,” Clarke said of the film. “I saw a little bit of it, I was there for a lot of it on set.”
“You are going to go with Neil Armstrong all the way from him as a test pilot to him walking down the steps and looking at the Earth 29,000 miles away. It is pretty spectacular.”
I then asked Clarke whether Chazelle had deployed the same kind of visceral techniques that made his 2014 film “Whiplash” so popular, which provoked the Australian to respond with, “It is visceral. Damien is very visceral.”
“His camera, his movements, and the way that he is telling the story, and where he is showing it from, he has shot something pretty special. He is editing it at the moment, I saw him over the weekend, and he is going to come up with something extraordinary.”
We won’t get to see what Chazelle, who became the youngest Best Director winner in Academy Award history when he picked up the gong for “La La Land,” does with “First Man” until October 12.
Before then, though, make sure to check out Jason Clarke’s performance as Ted Kennedy in “Chappaquiddick,” which is released on April 6.