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Crucial initial note: the film takes inspiration from Brock Yates' 1991 novel "Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine." This often-overlooked detail is essential in defining the approach to a well-crafted movie that divides critics, especially based on the cultural backgrounds of its audience.

We are catapulted into the pivotal year of 1957, a decisive period in the life of Enzo Ferrari, masterfully portrayed by Adam Driver. In this juncture, the renowned former racer finds himself confronting both professional and personal crises, with the looming threat of bankruptcy, controversies surrounding the racing accidents involving his cars, escalating rivalry with Maserati, and the intricate dynamics of family life, including the loss of his son Dino a year prior.

Michael Mann transforms this chapter in Enzo Ferrari's life into an intense cinematic experience, shedding light on the challenges the man faces during this critical period. The film doesn't follow the traditional biopic format, as Mann avoids dwelling extensively on Ferrari's past, opting instead for an approach that focuses solely on the present and future of one of Italy's most iconic companies. The result is a high-speed journey through the protagonist's emotions and feelings.

The real star of this introspection is Adam Driver's performance, capturing the fragility and vulnerability of a Ferrari haunted by his choices and their consequences. The human side of the character is particularly pronounced in scenes set at Dino's grave, a wound that Enzo never truly heals. However, at times, Ferrari's coldness and apparent indifference risk tilting the portrayal towards stark truthfulness at the expense of empathy.

Penélope Cruz portrays Laura, Ferrari's wife, delivering a performance that blends coldness with compassion, adding an element of redemption-seeking. Shaileene Woodley's character, Lina Lardi, Ferrari's lover and mother of his second son, Piero, emerges as a constant shadow, an enigma in Enzo's life and a threat to Laura.

Naturally, Ferrari doesn't lack in spectacle and adrenaline, skillfully balancing racing scenes with more reflective moments. The 1957 Mille Miglia, featuring the tragedy at Guidizzolo, provides a stark perspective on Ferrari's history, interrupting the frenetic pace with a depiction of excess and risk in their perilous landing.

In conclusion, Ferrari is a captivating and perplexing film that presents a page of history in a unique manner. A melodrama and Italian epic seen through the American lens of Mann, approaching the story with respect and a certain restraint. It's this distinctive vision that has sparked differing opinions among critics and the audience, dividing them between those praising the film's execution and those deeming it forgettable and barely passable.

© Cavalieri Garage & Co.


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