Friday, October 13, 2023
Michael Mann (The Insider) brings his astonishing command of technique and storytelling to bear on this emotional, elegantly crafted dramatization of the life of the legendary car manufacturer and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari at a professional and personal fulcrum. It’s 1957, and the marriage of Enzo (Adam Driver, in an artfully internalized performance) and Laura (Penélope Cruz, a ferocious revelation) has begun to irrevocably fracture as a result of his philandering and the tragic recent death of their young son. Their unsettled domestic world is on a collision course with his work life as Enzo faces a pair of major turning points: financial pressure to increase productivity, which means going against his long-standing desire to only produce race cars, and preparations for the treacherous cross-country open-road Mille Miglia race. Dovetailing these narrative strands, Mann effortlessly shifts gears between elegiac and spectacular, climaxing in an exhilarating and terrifying race across the Northern Italian landscape—a visual and aural wonder of revving machinery against bucolic splendor—that ranks with the greatest set pieces of Mann’s career. Aided by a magnificent cast, which also includes Shailene Woodley, Gabriel Leone, Patrick Dempsey, and Jack O’Connell, and glorious on-location shooting in Ferrari’s hometown of Modena, Mann has constructed a marvel of classical cinema. A Neon release.