TIFF Pick of the Day: Septemer 9, 2013

Pick: Rush
Director: Ron Howard
Showtimes: Today at 12 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre.

In the semi-autobiographical feature, the film explores the famous rivalry between Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). After crashing while racing at the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda struggles to back his comeback after his near-death experience, which leaves him physically scarred from the intense burns, in order to try and best his rival once and for all.

Why we close Rush: Aside from a few questionable films, Ron Howard’s got a pretty phenomenal track record at the helm of a film, and is clearly looking to add another hit to his list of directorial triumphs. Although there’s no real antagonist to the plotline, the heated competition between Lauda and Hunt, set to the backdrop of the alluring yet dangerous sport of Formula 1 racing, will be enough to keep audiences interested. Romantic side-plots portrayed through Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara, mixed in with the comeback element of Lauda’s story, additionally elevates the story to something worth watching. It’s also interesting to note the lengths that Chris Hemsworth went to get the role of Hunt. Pinning for the role, Hemsworth wrote Howard a note swearing he’d lose the weight he gained from filmiing the Thor sequel, and included an audition tape acting out Hunt, which ultimately landed him the gig. Howard’s decision to cast Hemsworth, who has proven himself recently throughout his blockbuster film appearances, will as well be something worth checking out.