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ferrari

★★

starring: adam driver, penelope cruz, shailene woodley, and patrick dempsey

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Set in the summer of 1957, with Enzo Ferrari's auto empire in crisis, the ex-racer turned entrepreneur pushes himself and his drivers to the edge as they launch into the Mille Miglia, a treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy.

Over the last twelve months it has been a return of the masters with Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, David Fincher, and Michael Mann all releasing films in the last year or so. But unlike his fellow auteurs, Mann’s latest unfortunately doesn’t hold up to the very high standard of his previous work. Unsure of its subject or direction, Ferrari is a conflicted beast which is at its best when it's not embroiled in the life of Enzo and focused on the racing itself.

It is the summer of 1957. Behind the spectacle of Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage has been battered by the loss of their son, Dino a year earlier. Ferrari struggles to acknowledge his son Piero with Lina Lardi.

Meanwhile, his drivers' passion to win pushes them to the edge as they launch into the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia.

Strangely, Ferrari has a similar feel to Scott’s 2021 House of Gucci. Not because Adam Driver stars or the Italian setting, but for the simple fact that the material shouts epic Godfather-esque levels of family connections, conflicts, and intrigue. The story of Enzo Ferrari is just so rich. 

Unfortunately, Ferrari is confused with what kind of movie it truly wants to be. Is it an exploration of the life, loves, and losses of its enigmatic founder Enzo, or a tale of the Mille Miglia race? It’s all just spread narratively too thin where you end up not caring as much as you should about Enzo or the fate of his drivers. To have an actor of the talent of Jack O’Connell reduced to a couple of lines speaks volumes. 

Unsure of its subject or direction, Ferrari is a conflicted beast which is at its best when it's not embroiled in the life of Enzo and focused on the racing itself.

★★

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