The 2013 film RUSH still impacts me the same way it did upon first viewing, I am completely sucked in and riveted by not only the story but also the performances. The story of the great rivalry between the English James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda in the 1970’s is one that Formula 1 and racing fans round the world know. I grew up with a stepfather who was a huge race fan so the story of Hunt and Lauda was one I had heard before but never truly understood the magnitude of this amazing sports rivalry. But it wasn’t until the film hit last year that movie fans got a glimpse into this intense rivalry.
The film follows the two distinctly different racers through the year 1976, the year that changed everything. The differences weren’t just on the track but off the track as well. James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) was a handsome playboy whose hard partying ways got him more than a reputation and almost cost him a sponsorship, on the track he was a force to be reckoned with. Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) was brilliant, methodical and while he may have bought his way in, he drove his way to the top. Lauda never relied on his looks in life or in love. The one thing the two always had in common was that they were both willing to risk it all be the man on top, even if it meant their lives. 1976 was a season no Formula 1 race fan will ever forget and thanks to the film no movie fan will either.
Both Hemsworth and Bruhl’s performances in my opinion were Oscar worthy. The film is set in the 70’s so it has this sexy, glamorous and golden age feel and director Ron Howard nailed it. It was nominated for over a dozen awards and should have won far more than it did. If you have not checked out RUSH you should, you will not be disappointed. For many years the 1990 film DAYS OF THUNDER went down as one of the best racing movies of all time for me, that film has been replaced by RUSH.
RUSH is currently playing on HBO and you can also rent the film on Amazon.com.