Mann’s wisdom is not enough to justify a film without direction and lack of empathy.

After the scandals that accompanied the release of the movie House of Guccihistory repeats itself: another great foreign director is at the helm of a biographical work about an Italian brand, performed in English by American actors. ferrarigreat director Michael Mann and the premiere took place in Venice Film Festivalintended to be a decent entertaining film, but at the same time another missed opportunity in terms of the necessary cinematic and cultural authenticity.


Ferrari: all information

ferrari review


A biography of automobile magnate Enzo Ferrari, whose family redefined the high-performance Italian sports car and gave birth to the concept of Formula One.


  • Release date: November 30, 2023
  • Direction: Michael Mann
  • Film script: Troy Kennedy-Martin
  • Duration: 130 minutes
  • Type: Drama, Historical, Biographical
  • Assembly: Peter Scalia
  • Photo: Eric Messerschmidt
  • Music: Daniel Pemberton
  • Production: Forward Pass, Storyteller Productions, Moto Productions, Rocket Science, Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment
  • Distribution: 01 Distribution, Leone Film Group
  • Actors: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Savoie, Jack O’Connell, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone


The decision to use non-Italian actors and language could be interpreted as an act of theater, but even this is not enough to justify the nature of the choice, which, as we know, is aimed solely at the economic needs of box office receipts. In fact, it becomes completely misleading to hear decontextualized words in Italian in the script, such as “Yes, ma’am”, just as it is unclear that Penelope Cruz – in an interpretation that, mind you, is completely consistent with the role – must act in his native language, but with a local accent and intonation.

Coming to a purely formal matter, the film works in its own way, thanks to the brilliance of the technical packaging it is pleasant and engaging: the director’s skill Michael Mann it is undeniable that the American director creates visually impressive images and confirms himself – if that were ever necessary – as one of the greatest creators of the moving image.

His touch is also noticeable in the direction of the actors, who, at least in their interpretation, manage to make us forget the aforementioned linguistic discomfort. Adam Driver, lynching veteran House of Guccitransforms physically, aesthetically and facially, generously giving life to Enzo Ferrari, not too caricatured and trustworthy in his deep wounds and secret contradictions.

The problem is more in the structure of the work: Mann suffers from a lazy decision made at the writing stage to mix some elements of Ferrari’s private life with the public dynamics of auto racing and relationships with the team’s drivers. The result is a sketchy and confusing sequence of situations that does not give the film a clear direction and does not allow the viewer to properly empathize with the emotional rollercoaster of the protagonist.

Even the action scenes, the director’s calling card, also punished by a (relatively) small budget, while retaining their important creative merit, do not explode and in turn remain stuck in that cold static due to the lack of a central core of belonging. It follows that the film’s dramatic climax, placed squarely in the gray area between the tragic outcome of a race and the degeneration of a delicate family moment, ends up unwieldy and disappointing compared to what it could have portrayed.


The first cinematic biopic of Enzo Ferrari – there was a TV one starring Sergio Castellitto – works and entertains thanks to its spectacle and impeccable technical equipment, but it fails to rise to the top and remains in a limited dimension that does not correspond to the extraordinary talent of its author. director. The decision to hire American translators to tell the Italian story, also carried out with considerable awkwardness and confusion in the script, contributes to the film being a missed opportunity.


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