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Rush - The Rivalry Between James Hunt & Niki Lauda


lordcookie
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Synopsis: A biography of Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that almost claimed his life. Mere weeks after the accident, he got behind the wheel to challenge his rival, James Hunt.

The film stars Chris Hemsworth (Hunt) and Daniel Brühl (Lauda) whilst it has lots of beautiful women with Olivia Wilde, Natalie Dormer and Alexandra Maria Lara all co-starring. It could be a really interesting story with the big reservation coming from the fact Ron Howard is directing.

Below is a behind the scenes featurette (sadly you don't get to see if Hemsworth and Brühl have nailed their performances):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-xqy-ksqvs

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  • 2 months later...

I'll be honest I didn't know much about James Hunt until I picked up Murray Walker's autobiography on way to Brands Hatch recently, so to see the feature in Empire this month was a pleasant surprise. Ron Howard has a bit of a chequered history for me but on form he's a genius so I'll stay positive.

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Yeah, completely happy with this. Not enjoyed a film quite this much in a long time - and there have been some great films lately.

I was also surprised at how much impact Lauda's accident scene had - we all know the story and have seen the real footage - but it really gets you in the guts.

Weren't they both... slightly better friends in real life than depicted in the film though?

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I generally don't think they could have made a more perfect Motorsport film.

I went to the Goodwood Revival the day before and it got me in the mood for watching the film, despite the cut off point being the 1960's and the events of the film being slightly after that date! The 2 actors who played Hunt and Lauda were convincing and accents were spot on. Although the relationship between the two that is portrayed in the movie is not as it was in real life, it's understandable to play up a rivalry and Lauda said in Motorsport Magazine that he was fine with the portrayal.

The time Lauda was in Hospital after his crash was horrific, with the Lung Vacuum being something I had to turn away from the screen to not feel faint. That entire scene reminded me of the examination of the little girl in The Exorcist, where they played it for real and that element made it all the more horrible and made me respect what Lauda went through even more.

What makes this movie even more of a miracle was that Ron Howard had little interest in F1 and being the other side of the pond, little idea about these 2 men at the time they were driving. The idea he made a good film would have been great, that he made a brilliant film is even more shocking.

The best Motorsport film that's ever been made and probably in my Top 10 Films of all time. I absolutely adored it.

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Thought this was great. I found it hard to believe that it was directed by Ron 'middle-of-the-road' Howard! Both leads are excellent, Thor made me forget he was Thor which is praise in itself, but Daniel Bruhl deserves particular plaudits for bringing nuance and sympathy to a role that could easily have turned into robotic Sheldon Cooper style asshole.

It's worth watching this in the cinema and not waiting just for the sound mix.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was amazed at how much of the worlds racing circuits look just like Brands Hatch !!!

Which was a massive problem for me, because I so wanted to love this, and I just couldn't stop watching it and thinking .... Monza doesn't have a hill .. that's druids ... that's just Cooper straight .. that the pit entry of Brands. ....

I think there was one bit of Snetterton. And then when they get to the Ring ... it just did't look like Germany, which is odd because they filmed that at the 'Ring! Then they would have TV on in the background with actual footage from the 70's and it was obviously not the circuit they had been driving on 5 minutes earlier.

It probably didn't help that I went to see the filming when it was at Blackbushe, because the pits didn't change throughout the film. So Monza looked just like Brands and Brazil and Fuji. I just couldn't get lost in it, because I just saw the set I'd walked around 6 months previously.

Hunt and Lauda were great and i loved the story arc. the conversion they have at the end was hockey and still satisfying. I actually felt sympathy for Lauda, up until now I always had him pegged as the first genuinely professional driver of the modern F1 era. A great driver but souless and calculating. - Against Hunt who was like a God to me when i was growing up.

But its a Hollywood blockbuster and they didn't use the circuits around the world .... and didn't hide the fast it was just Brand hatch every time, well enough for me.

So ... i'm really disappointed with it...

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I kind of know what you mean (ie, for me it breaks the spell of Alan Partridge a bit when he mispronounces a place name that no one from outside Norfolk would have ever heard of), but I suspect most people don't notice it at all; looked like plenty of different tracks to me and I could well have believed they shot at all the relevant circuits (I'm sure I even recognised bits of circuits on occasion, but presumably not!). It's more like something the odd person with "specialist knowledge" picks up on - and I suspect is the case with almost all films - rather than something specific to this one. There's always someone saying something like "it totally wrecked the film for me when he went round the corner of a street I knew well, then emerged on a street half a mile away".

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I enjoyed it on the whole. The acting was fantastic, you might as well have been watching the real Niki Lauda at times. I like how they painted their characters warts and all, not simply trying to portray them as 'I want to win!' and 'I want to be sensible!' I had a fear it would have been dumbed down as opposed to simplified for the screen but happily it was very much the latter.

I was a bit disappointed with the manner of direction at times though. There's a real mish-mash of narration, editing and camerawork and it just didn't feel as cohesive as it could have been: it went from fast-cut editing to very filmic sweeping shots that felt very glossy, then there'd be vintage text overlaid... I just wonder if it could have been done as more of a contemporary documentary, which would have made the spool-on segments feel less jarring and allowed more vintage footage and so on.

Some of the racing was a bit underwhelming too - Senna showed how exciting an extended cockpit camera shot is/was at the right moment. It almost went there a couple of times but didn't, which was a shame. I know the film wasn't about the racing per se but it was the same few 'from the grass by the apex' shots and forward-facing wheel-to-wheel over and over.

Still, I think making it at all is quite the achievement and it's a good film.

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