It doesn’t much fit into film criticism and celebrity gossip, but I love cars. (Motorcycles, too, but the older I get, the less I can will myself onto a bike, and I 100% cannot believe I used to ride every day, like for real, how did I not die.)
Ferrari, then, is a film I have my eye on, as it is the confluence of four things I love: cinema, Michael Mann, cars, and Adam Driver doing an Italian accent. Following his portrayal of Maurizio Gucci, Driver now stars as the legendary racer and founder of Ferrari the automobile maker, and Scuderia Ferrari, the racing team. Ferrari is adapted from Brock Yates’ biography, Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine (recommend) and is directed by Michael Mann.
Ferrari will premiere at Venice this weekend, one of the few films to receive a SAG waiver so that talent, including Adam Driver, can appear at the festival. The teaser dropped yesterday, and yes, I am SUPER into it. There is little detail, it’s mostly family scenes intercut with racing scenes, lots of vroom and almost no talking. Michael Mann hasn’t directed a film since 2015’s Blackhat, and I am very curious about this film, as it amounts to his comeback. Mann is a technician behind the camera, so the race scenes ought to be amazing, but he is also a deeply romantic filmmaker. This teaser specifically namechecks Heat and The Last of the Mohicans, his two most romantic films. Ferrari is going to be…romantic?
Enzo’s love life was complicated by the illegality of divorce in Italy for most of his life. He was married to Laura Garello, played in the film by Penelope Cruz, but he also had a longtime mistress, Lina Lardi, played by Shailene Woodley. He had a son with each woman, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari with Laura, and Piero Ferrari with Lina. Dino died in his early twenties, and it is said that Enzo never really got over it—the teaser features a real photo of Dino and a scene that of Enzo weeping at his grave—but Piero went on to lead Ferrari and turn it into a multi-billion-dollar company.
Of all the things to look forward to in Ferrari, how Mann frames Enzo, a forceful, demanding man with two families and an insatiable drive to win, within a romantic context is the biggest. There’s a certain romance to a Ferrari car, whether it’s vintage—few vintage sportscars are prettier—or contemporary. But I have a hard time picturing Enzo as romantic, I keep thinking about all the stories of him psychologically torturing drivers for Scuderia Ferrari to win more races. But Michael Mann can make bank robbers and hitmen romantic, surely, he can do the same for Enzo Ferrari. Casting Adam Driver is the first step.
Everyone’s already got a weird crush on that mountainous man.