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Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl). 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: if you make a mistake, you die. Written by
In an interview with Austrian Times on the occasion of his 60th birthday, Niki Lauda stated that a journalist asking him how his injured face affected his marriage was the biggest insult he had to suffer in his life. See more »
Niki Lauda's first Formula One race in the movie is the 1973 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. This was actually the last race of the 1973 season. See more »
Twenty five drivers start every season in Formula One, and each year two of us die. What kind of person does a job like this? Not normal men, for sure. Rebels, lunatics, dreamers. People who are that desperate to make a mark, and are prepared to die trying. My name is Niki Lauda, and racing people know me for two things. The first is my rivalry with him.
I don't know why it became such a big thing. We were just drivers busting each other's balls. To me this is perfectly...
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Bound to win Academy Award nominations - and rightly so
In 1976, the rivalry between two brilliant racing car drivers, the British James Hunt and the Austrian Nikki Lauda, came to a head in the almost literally life-and-death struggle of the Formula One championship. American director Ron Howard ("Apollo 13", "A Beautiful Mind", "Frost/Nixon") and British scriptwriter Peter Morgan (both play and screenplay of "Frost/Nixon") have done a terrific job bringing the titanic struggle to the big screen, aided by some excellent casting and powerful sound and cinematography. Those were the days when most years a couple of drivers would be killed, so the stakes could not be higher.
Sensibly the car racing does not over-dominate, since this is essentially a character- driven conflict, but when the racing is on screen - notably in the final race - the excitement is visceral. The Australian Chris Hemsworth (previously best known as "Thor") and the Spanish-born German Daniel Brühl ("Inglourious Basterds") are so good as the British and Austrian drivers respectively that the dialect coaches should receive a special commendation. Arguably Brühl gives the stronger performance which should auger well for his future career.
A great strength of this tale is that there is not a hero or a villain. Both drivers had privileged backgrounds and were superbly talented, but both were flawed. although in very contrasting ways, including styles of thinking, driving and womanising (Olivia Wilde as model Suzy Miller and Alexandra Maria Lara as aristocratic Marlene Knaus respectively).
I never saw the recent film "Senna" (2010) so "Rush" reminded me most of the much older "Grand Prix" (1966), but what is stunning about "Rush" is that it all happened. A season of the fastest sport in the world decided in the last race by one point - you couldn't make it up. Rush to see the movie.
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