Opening 14 Dec 2006
Carlo Carlei gives us an overview of the life of Ferrari (played by Sergio Castellito), whose love of automobiles led to the production of the successful Ferrari race cars. Born 1898, Ferrari worked for his father in his metal working shop. He loved automobiles and raced old timers on the back roads of his home in northern Italy. He worked for FIAT and then Alfa Romero, for which he developed the race car division. He then established his own company, noted for the bright red cars with the horse emblem. He was involved with Formal One racing from its beginning in 1950, and hired the best race drivers, such as Tazio Nuvolari (Giampiero Judica), (and, more recently, Michael Schumacher, who does not appear in the film). Needless to say, Ferrari was tremendously successful. Privately, he was married to Laura; their son Dino died of muscular dystrophy at age 24. They adopted his illegitimate son, Piero, whose mother Lina was a long-term mistress. He died in 1988 at the age of 90.
As much as Ferrari’s life deserves a film, this one is exaggerated to the point of being Bollywood without the dancing. It began as a TV series and was so successful that Carlei developed it for the cinema. I can well imagine that Berlusconi would love to be lauded in such a sentimental way. In his old age, this film Ferrari resembles very much Karl Lagerfeld, with white hair and dark glasses, except for being a chain smoker. Like the film Citizen Kane, Ferrari also has his Rosebud, in the form of a homemade orange crate car, a relic from his childhood. My two stars are for the classic beauty of Ed Stoppard who plays a fictitious journalist, the Italian landscapes and houses, the interesting old cars, and Puccini’s arias which are played beautifully throughout. (Becky Tan)