The power, the glory and the horrors associated with one of the world’s most prestigious marques is on show in Ferrari.
The primary focus is on its controlling founder, Enzo Ferrari.
Born in Modena, Italy on 20th February 1898, Enzo would go on to become a racing car driver, retiring at the age of 33.
He and his wife Laura started the Ferrari motor racing team in 1947.
Ferrari, the film, picks up his story 10 years later.
Known as a womaniser, Enzo and Laura have a volatile relationship.
She controls the books with an eagle eye and Ferrari is leaking money.
On the personal front, the pair is barely on speaking terms.
They continue to grieve the death of their son, Alfredo “Dino”, who was born in 1932 and died of muscular dystrophy in 1956.
Enzo has a long standing, secret mistress, Lina Lardi, whom he met during the war and with whom he had a son, Piero, in 1945.
Piero is a bright child, whom his mother would like to carry the Ferrari name, but the situation surrounding Enzo’s wife makes that far from a straightforward proposition.
On the racing front, Ferrari’s only way out of its financial quagmire is to win races, among them the 1957 Mille Miglia, where the real threat comes from Maserati.
And bear in mind, this is an era in which deaths among the motor racing fraternity are not uncommon.
Enzo himself still mourns the deaths of two compatriots 25 years earlier.
Still, Ferrari paints Enzo as a driven (pardon the pun) pragmatist, with a “win at all costs” mentality.
His life is a constant juggle to try to stay on top of the unravelling threads.
Ferrari is a powerful, at times horrific, portrait of the race to be the fastest … and to stay afloat.
Adam Driver impresses with a largely humourless, but dominant portrayal of Enzo, a man on a perpetual tightrope. Driver continues to walk tall throughout.
Penelope Cruz is a force of nature as his wife, a woman not to be taken lightly. Cruz is positively ferocious as Laura.
Shailene Woodley displays the patience of Job as his mistress, Lina, intent on looking out for their son.
Ferrari was written by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job), based on the book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races, The Machine by Brock Yates.
Michael Mann, who executive produced Ford v Ferrari in 2019 steps behind the camera, as director, on this one.
Let’s face it, Mann is used to bringing heat (he helmed the action, crime, drama of that name in 1995), and there is an intensity about Ferrari too.
Mann adroitly balances the Ferrari business, with the complexity of Enzo’s personal relationships.
As a result, Ferrari, the movie, leaves an indelible imprint.
Rated M, it scores an 8 out of 10.