Cert 12A 142mins Stars 5
Have an out-of-this-world experience with this brilliantly ambitious biopic of history-making astronaut, Neil Armstrong.
He became the first man to walk on the Moon on July 21, 1969, during NASA’s Apollo 11 space mission, and we learn how this flight of global importance was a trip of deeply personal significance.
Superb cinematography and astonishing sound design convey the bone-shaking, ear-shattering and nerve-shredding experience of travelling in the extraordinarily primitive spacecraft in terrifyingly immersive sequences.
While attempting space travel in little more than a Morris Minor strapped to a skyscraper-sized firework, the spacemen have to calculate their trajectory with paper, a pencil and a slide rule.
In being inspiring, mournful, uplifting, terrifying and heartbreaking, it’s another staggeringly accomplished success from Damien Chazelle.
For 2016’s romantic musical, La La Land, he became the youngest ever winner of the best director Oscar, and he’s reunited with his star, Ryan Gosling, who is skilfully cast as the impressively impassive pilot who is inwardly troubled.
We follow the devoted family man on his seven year mission preparing to boldly go where no-one had gone before, and experience his arrival at an unexpected and emotional destination.
His down-to-Earth wife, Janet, is played with devastating precision by The Crown star, Claire Foy, and with Armstrong regarded as a US national symbol, their relationship becomes a reflection on the US during the 1960’s.
Corey Stoll is abrasively outspoken as Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, and is someone you wouldn’t want to spend two minutes in a lift with, never mind a week-long space mission.
And the Command Module pilot, Michael Collins, is played by Lukas Haas, the young Amish boy in Harrison Ford’s 1985 cop thriller, Witness, who still doesn’t look old enough to drive.
Elevated by the divine spectacle of outer space, this trip of a lifetime will leave you bruised, battered and moved to high heaven.