peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 01 26 Ferrari

Ferrari (2023)

/noise/movies | Link

Michael Mann's latest and a fair way from his best. I felt the topic — a bunch of events in a tumultuous year of motor racing/manufacturer Enzo Ferrari's life — falls into the uncanny valley for me: either you're a fan and know all about it or you're not in which case nothing seems all that significant. It doesn't function as a biopic.

Adam Driver leads in his second effort at playing a famous Italian (his first being in House of Gucci, unseen by me). It was very weird to pair him with decade-older Penélope Cruz whose vastly more capacious emotional range unbalanced more than one climactic scene. Mistress Shailene Woodley's accent wobbled all over the globe. It is hinted that the drivers have personalities. Most of the movie is mere filler in between Cruz's scenes, especially the well shot but strangely airless car race. The ending is abrupt.

I had to wonder why Mann didn't try to find more Italians for the main roles; I guess he needed American stars to secure funding.

Widely reviewed of course. Jason Di Rosso interviewed Mann last year and, while being very chuffed to do so, concluded Mann didn't land this one. A Critic's Pick by Manohla Dargis. She dug the racing scenes. Sandra Hall: "[Driver's is a] performance which effectively answers all those who have criticised Mann for not casting an Italian actor." I don't agree! "And in the end, Ferrari himself is not as fascinating as Mann thinks he is." Luke Goodsell. Wendy Ide: Driver is "curiously muted and bloodless." Dead right. And so on.