Directed by Ron Howard
Written by Peter Morgan
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara
Formula One drivers James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brühl) turn their rivalry into one of the most captivating stories in the history of their sport.
The screenplay, written by Peter Morgan (Bohemian Rhapsody), is based on the real-life rivalry between Hunt and Lauda. The stars of the film include Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame), Olivia Wilde (Richard Jewell), and Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall). The film was directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind).
This film attempts to capture the excitement of Formula 1 racing, as well as the compelling drama that came from the rivalry between two incredibly talented drivers. Peter Morgan did an excellent job finding balance between the intimate moments and the action-packed races. The script covers a significant amount of time without ever feeling choppy or losing touch with the overall tone of the story. Morgan also made sure to address the inherent danger of the sport, which plays heavily into the stakes of the film. The dialogue throughout the movie is solid, although there are moments where you can almost predict which cliche is coming. Overall, this is a great story given life through solid writing.
The performances throughout this movie hit all the right notes. Chris Hemsworth did a solid job bringing out the outspoken personality of James Hunt. Throughout the movie he makes subtle adjustments that show the growth of his character while still maintaining the outward ego of the man. Daniel Brühl also did great work, although his performance called for a very opposite approach to Hemsworth’s. Brühl plays his role as a somewhat cold and calculated man bent on winning. He brings Lauda to life as an unbending personality with little patience for mediocrity. Both of these men also bring out their shared trait, a deep desire to win. The rest of the cast also does a solid job. Olivia Wilde is just one of the many people who help to fill in the lives of the central characters. Alexandra Maria Lara also does solid work with her role. The cast also has good chemistry, making the more intimate moments feel as real as the special effect-driven action sequences. This one works as a collection of performances that work to bring this story to life.
This one looks and sounds incredible. The special effects teams did wonderful work putting the audience on the track and in the driver’s seat of the F1 cars. The sound design makes the races more intense, and the music adds just the right accent. The film is also nicely edited. This keeps the action sequences tight, and maintains a consistent pace of the film overall. The costumes, props, cars, and hair-styling all add to the authenticity of this re-created era.
This is a very solid movie that was surprisingly ignored by the Academy when Oscar season came around. If you’re a fan of racing this is a film you should make sure to see. I would also make sure to check this one out if you’re a fan of the stars. This is an intense film at times, but also a film that tells a very unique story of ambition, friendship, and legacy. I give this one 4.4 stars.