For Reel

Rush (2013)
February 10, 2014, 1:05 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ron Howard
4 Stars
RushIn Frost/Nixon, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan structured the film like a boxing match–it was a Herculean battle of personalities, complete with advisors that all but said “jab, left hook” in-between rounds. Their latest collaboration, Rush, takes on a similar structure as two contrasting titans jockey for position. The more appropriate metaphor in this case, of course, is to say that it resembles a race itself–one man takes the lead, the other catches up, and then the two go back-and-forth until the inevitably high-stakes final lap. Howard has never been a particularly visionary director, but he succeeds with this sort of middlebrow entertainment because he doesn’t simply trot out a familiar story progression, but encourages the audience to recognize narrative form by mirroring story with structure–the structure becomes a sort of gimmick, an in-joke. More than that, this might be Howard’s most visually beautiful picture, with director of photography Anthony Dodd Mantle (a frequent collaborator of Danny Boyle) recalling the 1970s not only through the grainy, highly-saturated image but through the occasional expressive framing choice reminiscent of the avant grade cinematography of many “new Hollywood” pictures from the period.

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