Posted by: greercn | September 15, 2013

Rush

“Rush” is a terrific film. Two hours of it zap by, whether or not you care about Formula 1 and racing cars.

Sensibly, director Ron Howard has concentrated on the human interest stories at the heart of the tale. James Hunt is played by Australian Chris Hemsworth in an astonishing performance. His native Australian accent is barely there compared to the cut-glass posh tones he (mostly) sticks with here.

Actually, the dialect coaches need huge praise. Daniel Bruhl – a towering talent who is a Spanish-born German speaker – is incredibly good looking in real life, but channels the spirit of the less cute Niki Lauda enough to make you forget the actor’s sparkling eyes and chiseled cheekbones.

The accent, I am told by Austrian friends, is perfectly Viennese.

Hunt and Lauda had a fierce rivalry during the early 1970s and Peter Morgan’s nearly-perfect script pushes forward the idea that this competition was the making of both men.

As their women, the lovely Olivia Wilde is magical as Suzy Hunt while Alexandra Maria Lara shines as Marlene.

Hey, Formula 1 gals were not big on feminism and probably still aren’t, okay? If I can avoid being bitter and twisted about this, you can too.

Christian McKay and Natalie Dormer both have terrific small parts.

This is a great date movie as the car stuff is beautifully done and the tales of love and race battles mean there is something here for everyone.

Most of the Stratford East Picturehouse audience were clearly here for date night.

There are sufficient scary bits that you have an excuse to touch each other, should you wish to.

I absolutely adore “Rush”. It’s a very different Formula 1 movie from the the fabulous “Senna”, but shows similar rivalries and challenges and shares an appeal beyond the racing fan base.

Yes, some of the newscasting is a tad intrusive, but the real-life footage is beautifully intercut with the newsreel film and the CGI is lovely and adds depth.

It’s quite tough to do a movie based on real people when their faces, stories and personalities are well-known. You get pulled into this, even if you know the ending.

See it. It’s just a superb and life-affirming film. Just this once, I didn’t even think of “Happy Days” when I saw Ron Howard’s name. Hemsworth, Bruhl and Howard all deserve Oscar nominations. All films should be this engaging and so few are.

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