“Where is Novellara?” Reggio places enchant Venice

Reggio Emilia, September 1, 2023 – Manual transmission, 1950s. Shift into third gear, accelerate, shift into fourth, push, grab the wheels. Increased field of view to infinity and beyond. How he must have had fun Adam Driver in the first scenes “Ferrari”, using a reproduction of this gearbox dated 1957, rolled out of the home of Drake’s mistress, Lena Lardy. But never before in this dazzling, grainy black-and-white image, recreated from archival footage to celebrate the exploits of a young driver from Modena. Bold, electrified, we see how he overtakes the opponent and claims his laurels. This is the opening episode chosen by Michael Mann to introduce himself again to the Venetian public in his latest film, screened yesterday at the 80th Venice Film Festival, in the fight for the Golden Lion (expected theatrical release is Dancer, we’re talking around November 30th or December 25th) .

In Venice, a film about Enzo Ferrari: there is also Penelope Cruz

In Venice, a film about Enzo Ferrari: there is also Penelope Cruz

An à la Mann film with amazing direction from the actors, starting with Adam Driver in the title role, who shines in interpreting Enzo’s darkest and most unresolved years, the ones in which he will have to use all his unstoppable power. character and entrepreneurial foresight to emerge from a severe financial crisis just a few steps away from bankruptcy. The talents that Driver displays, he possesses as if they were his own, demonstrating those Drake grimaces that only those close to him could understand: angry, sarcastic or happy? And where does the American director partly share these difficult years? In our Reggio, in the interiors of 122 Via Emilia San Pietro, meeting the criterion of sobriety that characterized that period of an engineer’s life, oppressed by financial problems.

It is here that Adam Enzo Ferrari will have to face the crisis along with his wife Laura and rebuff the attacks of his affective mother Adalgisa. It’s a film about the Ferrari man, about life’s ups and downs, but above all, it’s a film about adversity and the ability to overcome it. From a champion who can be seen as the epitome of resilience and risk-taking. If in Modena, the engineer designs his winning models, which we see zipping under the arcades in breathtaking shots of the Chicago director’s Milla Miglia, where they look redder than usual, stained with a red Ferrari.

Unique red color, just like the engine. His sound. A sound equal to caress, say the enthusiasts. However, it is in the shooting of the film Reggio that Mann seeks to depict the turning point and planning that will explode in a head full of ideas, like an internal combustion engine, of the great Modena. It’s an obstacle course, like life, Ferrari. But on the road, where different rituals are performed, it is more famously. Don’t bypass. We live in a quintessentially masculine world of the fifties, which in Mann’s masculine cinema is perfect yet able to hold back surprises. unexpected events. In fact, if deus ex machina is a man, then the accounts in the house and in the company are kept by a woman. Laura, his wife. Penélope Cruz, whom the people of Modena met last year, with her hair and dress in the fashion of the time, is the epitome of a determined woman attacking an all-male business with murderous fury.

The history of Ferrari is painful, full of difficulties, and it is in these folds that Mann plunges the knife of the camera. With the technique of shooting and the unmistakable style that over time have become his trademark and with which he alternates between public life, sporting exploits and the private life of a Modena industrialist in a perfectly balanced dialogue. Enzo in the eyes of Mann is living blood, pulsating life, tragedies (loss of a son, brother), but also a spurring personality, resilience. Just like the cars he designs and likes to drive on regular roads, downshifting. “They created for us, for me, customized racing models,” admits the protagonist Adam Driver, one and ninety centimeters tall, “and no, I did not drive a car. They were afraid that I might touch the steering wheel or some other part. a real Ferrari,” he told reporters in surprise. A real joy for the eyes and for the ears – the opening scenes with Adam Driver – his game is mimic, from grimace to sideways glance at the indomitable spirit, spread out on his height of 1.90 meters. Only the dynamics of a feature film, which uses the careful and energetic editing of Pietro Scalia, from the very beginning of the team’s technical specialist Michael Mann, and photographs by Eric Messerschmidt.

Perfectly balanced and compact alternation of public scenes with scenes of the private sphere is their work. Patrick Dempsey, a lifelong race car driver and collector of classic cars, loved playing a role that exposed him to extreme speed risks at a time when safety systems left a lot to be desired. But in the masculine and masculine cinema of Mann, there is a figure who many times enters the stage and dominates it as much as Drake, if not more. This is Laura’s wife, played by Penelope Cruz with courage and murderous fury. Able to withstand even the terrible mother-in-law Adalgisé, she is half Ferrari, even in times of crisis. Let’s never forget this. And to unwind from the effort of playing such a stubborn woman, last year Penelope chose a hotel in Reggio, La Concia. One of the first receptionists in Reggio. Meanwhile here, the fans adore and admire it. “Novellara? Where is it?” they ask. “A village near Reggio,” the French critic clarifies. “Oh, if I see the Imola hippodrome, I will scream,” the spectator shouts, in love with a prancing horse …

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