Ferrari - Review (London Film Festival 2023)
In To Win. 2.5 / 5
Directed by Michael Mann.
A biopic of automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari, whose family redefined the idea of the high-powered Italian sports car and practically spawned the concept of Formula One racing.
On paper, Ferrari should work. Michael Mann - one of cinema's most influential directors taking on a recognisable story about a distinguished name with an impressive cast of big-hitters. But what we get is a tedious drama with scattered focus, trying to do too much but forgetting to do any of it properly, getting caught up in its own excitement.
This year's Surprise Film at London Film Festival certainly lived up to the name. There is an intriguing story hidden within this film but this adaptation of Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine follows the source material, perhaps too closely as it tries to balance and bring to screen seemingly every element of Enzo's complicated personal life and his competitive professional life rather than pick those that will be the most thematically relevant.
It can't decide on what kind of film it wants to be resulting in a jarring final product. The race scenes are loud and dynamic which can cause whiplash cutting back and forth between much more personal character moments. I will say that for all Ferrari does and doesn't do well, it did deliver one of the most shocking and unexpected moments I have seen on screen in years - you can feel the air get sucked from the room.
A wasted opportunity, filled with great talent doing not so great Italian accents. Adam Driver has a commendable screen presence, carrying the film, but it's not enough to save this complex biopic.