Two-time Academy Award® winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon), teams up again with fellow two-time Academy Award® nominee, writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen), on Rush, a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970s Formula 1 racing rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The movie opened last week in select theaters and opens nationwide today.
Howard does an excellent job in getting the details of the 1970s down from the cars to the clothes. But the movie isn’t so much about racing or amazing 1970s couture clothing, it is about a rivalry between two race car drivers that develops into a mutual respect for one another. The two could not be more different. Although both born from wealthy families, that is where the similarities end.
Englishman James Hunt is the notorious good looking playboy who sleeps with any female with a pulse and is a genuine free spirit. Hunt is played by Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) who, in the movie, marries Susy Miller played by Olivia Wilde (House television series) once he decides to put his philandering ways behind him. Hunt one the F1 Grand Prix World Championship in 1976.
Austrian Niki Lauda is a calculated, disciplined driver interested in making a name for himself on the Formula 1 racing circuit. Lauda’s role is played by Daniel Bruhl (The Bourne Ultimatum) who does an amazing job. During the movie, Niki marries Marlene who stays with him during a tragic period in their lives. Lauda won the F1 Grand Prix World Championship three times.
There is nothing not to like about this movie. The Formula 1 racing circuit is an excellent backdrop to tell the story of the two main characters. It shows their strengths and their weaknesses, allowing viewers to see that famous people have very similar ups and downs as regular folks. Though they may deal with those ups and downs in far better style than most. The movie is well worth the price of admission and is expected to be another Ron Howard hit.
The real Niki Lauda has been a successful aviation entrepreneur, involved in several lucrative enterprises and is currently a TV commentator for Grand Prix events as well as working as a consultant to Mercedes’ Formula 1 racing team. After divorcing Marlene, portrayed in the movie ‘Rush’, he married Birgit who donated one of her kidneys to Niki after one of his failed.
The real James Hunt passed away in 1993 at the early age of 45 due to a heart attack in Wimbledon, England. Hunt was plagued by financial trouble during this time and the stress has been suggested to be part of the reason for his death.
The movie is rated ‘R’ by the MPAA for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use, although in my opinion it could have been rated “PG-13”.