When and how did I watch this?
January 5th and 6th, 2016 on a friend’s PLEX account.
Had I seen this film already?
What did I know about the movie before watching it?
My friend had recommended this to me earlier because it’s a sports movie and I “like sports movies”. Got me there. I’m down for a quality racing film, especially if it’s done well. I believe this is the only sports film so far, and might be the only one hereafter.
What do I know about it now?
This was a huge surprise. I identified with Lauda immediately, and was turned off by Hunt’s brash, carefree approach to a serious sport like F1 racing. The movie was non-stop adrenaline, and avoided pretty much every racing movie stereotype I could think of. Even the tragedy was done well and evaded the super sentimental cliche that could inevitably occur. Hemsworth could have easily been replaced with the late Heath Ledger, but it was amusing seeing how very similar Hemsworth’s visage is to the original racer. The sex scenes could’ve been dropped and nothing would’ve been lost. Otherwise, this would’ve been an instant favorite.
What are some themes in the film?
Pride/humility, addiction, greed, love, racing (yep)
Did this affect me personally?
I garnered a greater respect for a sport I was generally unfamiliar with prior.
Why is this ranked #160?
Hemsworth/Thor and a sexy thrill film released only three years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I think it belongs on the list, but it’s certainly too high.
Did my wife watch/like it?
She was enamored with it as well, which was surprising. They managed to make this a human story rather than a two-dimensional who’s-gonna-win sports drama.
Would I watch it again?
Maybe. It’s not something I’d go out of my way to watch, but I won’t leave the room if it’s on anymore.
Would I recommend it to a friend?
Yes, but hopefully without the nudity/sex. It made me that uncomfortable.
Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?
As mentioned earlier, it belongs near the bottom of the list, but that still makes it great. The essential elements were there: a gripping story, perfect cinematography and sound, and it never wasted time.