"The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. It's a wonderful way to live. It's the only way to drive.” Which is what Rush offers in this exhilarating ride. This biographical action film directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan. The film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt, and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda. The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error.
The film was shot on location in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. Filming took place at the former Second World War airfield of Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, the Snetterton (Norfolk), Cadwell Park (Lincolnshire), the former Crystal Palace and Brands Hatch (Kent) motor racing circuits in Britain, and at the Nürburgring in Germany. Both vintage racing cars and replicas were used in the filming.
The film stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. It also stars Olivia Wilde as Suzy Miller, Alexandra Maria Lara as Marlene Knaus, Pierfrancesco Favino as Clay Regazzoni and Natalie Dormer as Nurse Gemma. The performances in this film were all strong and superbly acted and delivered. Hemsworth has given the finest performance of his career as the stunning, handsome, charismatic, effortless champion, playboy and instinctual genius. Brühl gave a strong performance as the meticulous, driven, Austrian intellectual. By the final scenes, Brühl has all but disappeared so as to deliver Lauda himself. In the film, James Hunt and Niki Lauda's on-track rivalry was bitter and hard-fought. But in real life, off the track, the two were more sympatico than the film suggests. In fact, they even shared a flat in London for time. A fiver says Lauda did all the washing-up. Though it was not entirely accurate, what film is actually accurate? Nonetheless, they had great chemistry as the two determined rivals. In the end, they did not just mimic their characters, when the film was over, they embodied them. Wilde gave a fine performance as Hunt's ex-wife. Maria Lara also gave a fine performance as the loyal love interest of Lauda, at the time, and her chemistry with Brühl was fantastic. Favino gave a great performance as Clay Regazzoni. Finally, Dormer gave a great performance as Hunt's love interest at the beginning of the film. She brought a stunning and sexy appeal to the character, as she does with most of her roles ('especially' in The Tudors (2007-2010) and Game of Thrones (2011-Present)).
Rush is a powerful story, one of the year's best films, told with great clarity and remarkable technical detail, and acted without pumped-up histrionics. Howard lays off the manipulation to tell the true story of the 1970 Formula 1 Race in painstaking and lively detail. It's easily Howard's best film. Howard turned this film from a potentially visual, fuel-injected extravaganza into a grabber of a movie laced with tension, stinging wit and potent human drama.
Simon says Rush receives: