If all you want for Christmas is excellent acting and heart-pounding race-car chases in a complex drama-filled love triangle, then master action movie-maker Michael Mann’s Ferrari (presented by NEON) is waiting in a cinema near you.
The excellent Adam Driver heads the cast, channeling Enzo Ferrari’s smoldering intensity while working overtime to master the proper Italian accent; paired with the ever-masterful Penelope Cruz (as his wife), who elevates the movie’s every scene; along with Shailene Woodley, who completes the triangle with another (think, Big Little Lies) single-mother role with integrity and devotion.
The movie is a mostly faithful retelling of a pivotal year in Enzo Ferrari’s life (spoiler pun alert) when his personal and business life came crashing into focus. Ferrari is about a race for a man’s heart, a literal race for automotive supremacy, with plenty of visual foreshadowing that points toward triumph and tragedy for all. Like its protagonist, Ferrari is a paradox: it’s a complicated, entertaining, dark, romantic, suspense-filled holiday movie. So ditch the sugar plums and snowflakes and buckle up. Perhaps Ferrari is just the film for that hard-to-please person on your holiday gift list: you.
Stephan Koplowitz is a director/choreographer and the author of On Site-Methods for Site-Specific Performance Creation by day. By night, he’s an avid cinephile.