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  • snitzoid

I love fast cars and Italians. So I gotta love this movie!

First of all, I can't wait to see the new movie Ferrari! Enough about that. Once upon a time, Snitz was a motorhead on track! That's me back in 2008 saving the planet in my gas gussling 730 hp badass Vette.

I had a team of brain surgeons helping me be mediocre around the 2 mile course. God I wish I had the smell of racing fuel coursing through my veins.

Opening day for my car which was built from a 2002 Z06. Hey, who needs this stupid Ferrari movie when you can see me doing my imitation of Top Gun?

‘Ferrari’: Adam Driver commands the screen in a performance fueled by star power

Between thrilling, high-speed racing scenes, the well-filmed biopic slows down to show carmaker’s personal drama

By Richard Roeper, Suntimes

Dec 20, 2023,

When CNN’s Chris Wallace interviewed Adam Driver a few weeks ago, Wallace seemed determined to get a rise out of Driver by proclaiming, “You don’t look like the typical movie star.” One surmises Wallace was trying to make the case Driver is more in the vein of Humphrey Bogart, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman rather than a Paul Newman or a Leonardo DiCaprio or an Idris Elba, but it’s a funny thing: Just a few days prior to that interview, I saw Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” and kept thinking that Driver looked every bit the movie star and gave a pure movie-star performance as the Italian motor racing driver turned entrepreneur.

“Ferrari” is a beautifully filmed story that eschews long-form biography in favor of focusing on the summer of 1957, when Enzo Ferrari was at a crossroads, as he was mourning the death of his son, navigating a tinderbox of a romantic life and trying to fend off his company’s looming bankruptcy.

Based on a biography by Brock Yates, with a screenplay written by Troy Kennedy Martin, who wrote the original “Italian Job” and died in 2009, this is a project decades in the making, with Mann (“Thief,” “Heat,” “Collateral,” “Public Enemies”) reminding us he’s a master of muscular, gritty films about commanding but deeply flawed men of great skills — sometimes legal, sometimes not so much. In the case of Ferrari, he was of course a legitimate businessman, but his penchant for pushing his cars and drivers beyond the limits resulted in sobriquets such as “assassin” and “widow-maker.”


Neon presents a film directed by Michael Mann and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. Running time: 124 minutes. Rated R (for some violent content/graphic images, sexual content and language). Opens Sunday at local theaters.

After a newsreel-style prologue with the young Enzo careening about a racetrack in an Alfa Romeo in the early 1920s, we land in 1957, with the silver-haired and nattily attired Enzo enjoying what appears to be a life of domestic bliss with Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley) and their 10-year-old son Piero (Giuseppe Fesitine). Only when Enzo returns to the Northern Italian city of Modena and he is greeted by his furious, gun-toting wife Laura (Penélope Cruz, fiery and brilliant) do we realize Enzo has been playing with domestic fire for years. It’s not that Laura isn’t aware of Enzo’s dalliances, but at this point she doesn’t know about his longtime relationship with Lina and the existence of Enzo’s young son. When Laura does discover the truth, it hits hard, given Enzo and Laura are still grieving over the loss of their son Dino from a rare form of muscular dystrophy just a year prior.

If this makes it sound like “Ferrari” is as much of a domestic drama as a racing film, that’s because it is. We spend a lot of time with the languidly paced scenes depicting the complicated dynamic of Enzo’s personal life — which are balanced by some of the most impressive racing sequences ever caught on film, including the re-creation of the Mille Miglia, an open-road endurance race spanning 1,000 miles of open roads in Italy.

Operating with a single-minded determination, Enzo assembles a team led by the Italian veteran Piero Taruffi (Patrick Dempsey!), the Brit driver Peter Collins (Jack O’Connell) and the dashing Spanish ace Alfonso de Portago (Gabriel Leone), who was engaged in a high-profile romance at the time with the actress Linda Christian (Sarah Gadon).

Fending off suggestions from the money men that Fiat or Ford gobble up Ferrari, endeavoring to keep Laura (who had an equal share of ownership of the company) from doing something drastic to empty the coffers, and trying to placate Linda, who says it’s time for Enzo to publicly acknowledge their son, Enzo is hoping a strong showing at Mille Miglia will be his salvation.

What transpires next is rendered in stunning and devastating fashion, even if you already know de Portago’s Ferrari spun out of control near the village of Cavriana and flew off the road, killing de Portago and his co-driver Edmund Nelson, along with nine spectators — five of them children. Mann and cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt depict the crash like something out of a real-life horror movie, which it was. It would be the last time the Mille Miglia was ever run.

“Ferrari” rushes through its final moments. Enzo was charged with 11 criminal counts of manslaughter, but more than three years later, a judge convened a panel of experts who concluded there was no negligence, and Enzo was acquitted on all counts. Piero was eventually recognized as Enzo’s son and rose to his current position as vice-chairman of the Ferrari company. We don’t get much in the way of an examination of how the tragedy affected Enzo personally; it’s as if Mann has told the portion of Ferrari’s life he wanted to tell, and that’s that.

Driver affects an Italian accent not far off from the questionable one he adopted for “House of Gucci,” but he’s effective and arresting, whether Enzo is running his company or pausing for moments of tender affection with his son. Penélope Cruz is a scene-stealing marvel, whereas the casting of Patrick Dempsey takes us out of the movie, and Shailene Woodley gives off fewer authentic Italian vibes than a stroll through the Venetian Las Vegas.

“Ferrari” never quite achieves the greatness of previous Mann movies such as “Thief” and “Heat,” but it’s a solid and extremely well-filmed slice of one legendary life.

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