Michael Mann might seem like a perfect fit for a biopic of Italian motorsports legend Enzo Ferrari, himself a professional technician and director working at the highest levels of his commercial craft. The result, however, is a strangely tame beast, and an introspective look at a watershed moment in his subject’s life, when his businesses hit rocks, his marriage nearly collapsed, and a series of fatal accidents kept his name in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons.
Sure, this stuff is meaty, but it’s weird, and given what’s at stake, Adam Driver’s oddly unemotional performance makes it hard to get used to this quirky, deeply self-absorbed character. Add to that the glacial pace of its narrative, and the film expected to head the early awards season will struggle to maintain that top spot.
Like Martin Scorsese Moonflower Killers, Ferrari The film opens with a barrage of archival footage covering the early years of the story, when young Enzo was a respected driver before the birth of his son Alfredo inspired him to retire. A title card tells us that Ferrari and his wife Laura, whom he married in 1932, founded Ferrari Spa in 1947, and then a second title card tells us that the movie is set in 1957. A lot has happened in those 10 years; Alfredo died at the age of 24 of muscular dystrophy in 1956, and Ferrari’s business declined: although among his clients were literally kings, the man they called com. commentatore He spends a lot of money on racing and doesn’t care enough about the cars you’re paying for.
The movie begins, almost literally, with a bang, as Ferrari sneaks home after spending the night with his lover, Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley). “I don’t care who you fuck with, or how many bitches,” Laura exclaims. “You have to be here before the maid arrives!She pulls out a revolver, and fires a shot that almost misses his head (“I’ll rearm Germany before I give that woman a gun,” her mother-in-law says, in the first dry cut of the film. Like a zinger of bones). A point of contention such that they take turns visiting his shrine.
Ferrari is a man haunted, and not only by the ghost of Alfredo; Notoriously, the early days of motor racing were unsafe, and there would be a lot of deaths in the next two hours. For example, when a young man named Alfonso de Portago (Gabriel Leone) offers his services on the track, Ferrari tells him he doesn’t need another driver. Five minutes later, an astonishing incident occurred. He was told, “Call my office on Monday.”
The death of another driver raises the ire of the press, which accuses Ferrari of having blood on its hands (it is “artificial Saturn devouring its own children”, according to one journalist). And to be honest, they do have a point. just us Oppenheimer Mann has talked a lot about revoking the physicist’s security clearance – which is absolutely true – Mann’s film ignores the fact that Enzo Ferrari was largely driven by jealousy at this point, having lost Le Mans to Jaguar, whose fortunes had soared as a result. It is true that motor racing has always been a dangerous sport, but it was Ferrari’s sport carelessness Carnage, even when it involves members of the public, leaves a bitter aftertaste.
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The film’s climax is the 1957 Mille Miglia race, an accident scene that will trap Ferrari – company and man – in red tape for the next four years. But, oddly enough, this is where the film hits a less interesting patch, interspersing Ferrari phrases with scenes from the race, a test of memory in itself as to which Ferrari drivers drive which numbered red cars.
The last 15 minutes, about the same, stacks up, though, with a moment when Cruz finally gets some acting, after playing a crazy bitch with a tough face for two hours while we’re asked to sympathize with her husband. who hid from her not only a decade-long affair, but also a son he had secretly raised as his own, taking money from the company to do so. Although this fleshes out her character in unexpected ways, one might imagine that real-life Laura deserves a little more respect than a big scene at the end.
and then Ferrari It ends as it began, with a few title cards explained, at very Broad strokes, what happened next. But, as with the movie itself, this isn’t really enough. in the great pantheon of movies about cars, Ferrari You will be lucky to find a parking space.
festival: Venice (competition)
exit: Michael Mann
screenwriter: Troy Kennedy Martin
ejaculate: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley
Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes