To say I have zero interest in Formula One would be a massive exaggeration. Because I actually have far LESS than zero interest; I really couldn’t be bothered with it at all and I’ve never watched a race. Ron Howard’s Rush, then, was something of a revelation. Set in the run up to and during the controversial 1976 racing season, the movie is actually less a sports movie than it is a nuanced character piece – a heady drama around the clash of personalities between sex-and-champagne toff James Hunt, and the anal, humourless Austrian Niki Lauda.
Chris Hemsworth gives a ridiculously sexy, assured performance as Hunt the Shunt, and German-Spanish actor Daniel Bruhl is spot on as the pernickety Lauda, right down to the Austrian accent. Filmed on location at places like Brands Hatch and the Nürburgring Ring in Germany, their sparring competitiveness is engaging and exhilarating, and Howard pulls off the interesting feat that you want them both to win. The film sunk entirely at the box office, but it’s really really really good – even the driving bits. Put foot, as they say, and see it.