FERRARI (2023)

: Behind the spectacle and danger of 1950’s Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy stalks the company he and his wife, Laura, built from nothing ten years earlier.


Apparently Ferrari is filmmaker Michael Mann’s passion project but it took him more than two decades to bring it to the big screen. While it’s touted as a biography of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the one of the most recognisable super car brands in the world, it’s not exactly the typical biography you expect if that makes any sort of sense.

The drama is stripped down heavily although we can’t be sure if it’s the case with the 1991 biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine by motorsport journalist Brock Yates in which the movie is based on.

So instead of giving audiences a straightforward biography of Enzo Ferrari, Mann opted to do it in the style of Ali, focusing only on a specific time frame of his life which in this case 1957 where Enzo is busy battling both his domestic and business crisis. His relationship with wife and also business associate Laura Domenica Garello (Penelope Cruz) is at best rocky after the death of their beloved son, Dino. However, he has found solace in his mistress Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley) and their illegitimate son Piero.

The financial side of his business is troubling consider he spent more money on racing than selling his cars. He is more concerned about his car mechanisms, his selection of racers and the upcoming cross-country Mille Miglia race than anything. Enzo Ferrari is portrayed as a super busy man, the screenplay is busy and every scene besides the ones in the bedroom with Laura or Lina’s kitchen is hectic and overall, an automobile circus.

Yet the biography fails to portray the “real” Enzo Ferrari and his business acumen. A lot of screen time is spent on Enzo circling around the grieving Laura who controlled a majority of the business shares and his torment of not giving proper acknowledgement of Piero. In short, it’s more of a domestic family melodrama than opening a door to the complexities and drive of the famous car mogul.

For auto racing enthusiasts, there are a handful of them although besides the horrifying crash in the end, Mann struggles to pull off a stunning race sequence. The performances on the other hand are outstanding especially Cruz who shines as the long-suffering wife. Adam Driver is back portraying another famous Italian man after The House of Gucci. Driver is serviceable but not particularly impressive.

Mann’s latest big screen effort after a hiatus of eight years sadly sputters like a worn-out Ford consider the potential of the material. The narrative is too old-school, the production values fared even worse. Consider it’s from a prestige name liked Michael Mann, Ferrari is just another forgettable entry in his filmography.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Drama/Biography
Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O'Connell, Michele Savoia, Lino Musella, Domenico Fortunato
Director: Michael Mann
Rating: M18
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 2 hrs 10 mins