The first reviews for Michael Mann’s Ferrari say the film delivers powerhouse performances and outstanding racing drama.
Michael Mann’s long-gestating drama, Ferrari, peels into the Venice Film Festival this afternoon, and reviews are already leaving the starting line. The film is based on Brock Yates’ biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races and The Machine. Adam Driver plays Enzo. Instead of following the world-famous figure from the start of his journey, Ferarri revolves around the time when the Italian auto manufacturer was in dire straights, and Enzo was juggling two relationships between his wife, Laura Ferrari (played by Penelope Cruz), and his mistress, Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mann’s Ferrari is “as unapologetically masculine as anything Mann has made and also as visceral.” The outlet says Mann does an admirable job of balancing Enzo’s crisis with exhilarating racing scenes that give the film “high tension both on and off the track, and even if the emotionally charged domestic scenes seldom match the adrenaline rush of the hair-raising race sequences.”
While THR praises Driver’s performance and says Cruz’s Laura provides an outstanding display of “wounded rage” throughout her emotional journey, the outlet suggests Woodley seems miscast. “Not only because she is about as Italian as Pizza Hut. Her scenes are the weakest, with Mann veering a tad awkwardly into uncharacteristic melodrama,” THR writes.
THR goes to great lengths to celebrate the film’s racing scenes, saying Pietro Scalia’s editing, Erik Messerschmidt’s photography, and Daniel Pemberton’s score elevate the experience to great heights. Concluding their thoughts, THR says, “Ferrari is unlikely to go down as canonical Mann, lacking the glimmering, hard-edged stylishness of his best work.”
As for Variety, the outlet’s review highlights Troy Kennedy Martin’s “superb script. It “stages the story in a masterly intrigue that is rooted in a lavish authentic about everything from racing, business and marital discord. It’s like watching “Grand Prix” fused with “The Godfather.”
Variety also points toward the Mille Miglia event as an aspect of the film that’s “beyond exciting.” The epic sequence will shine on the silver screen, making Ferarri worthy of your hard-earned theater-going budget. Variety enjoyed Woodley’s performance more than THR, saying all three leads deliver powerhouse performances. Wrapping up their thoughts, Variety wrote, “The dramatic grandeur of “Ferrari is that it doesn’t make racing or life look any easier than it is. The movie is about winning, but it’s also about the price you have to pay.”
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