The first film Ron Howard ever directed was “Grand Theft Auto” back in 1977 for Roger Corman. He also starred in this hit honky tonk picture which propelled the young actor’s helming career to the forefront. Thirty-six years on, the Oscar winner (“A Beautiful Mind”) has returned to the world of fast cars with “Rush,” based on the real-life rivalry of Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) for the 1976 title.
To make this high-octane picture — which premiered to wide acclaim at the Toronto film festival on Sunday — Howard reunited with “Frost/Nixon” scripter Peter Morgan. Both men reaped Oscar bids for that biopic back in 2008; it also contended for picture, actor (Frank Langella) and editing.
“Rush” may not reap bids in all those races with picture and editing the most likely. However, if enough of the reviews read like this valentine from Peter Debruge (Variety), Howard could find himself in the director race for a third time; he won with his first bid in 2001 for helming Best Picture champ “A Beautiful Mind.”) And Morgan could go along for the ride reaping his second original screenplay nod after “The Queen” (2006) for his stirring story of these two titans of racing.
Bruhl is a strong contender for his sizeable supporting performance which sees his character overcome a fiery crash to compete again. The German actor sees his chances boosted by an equally strong turn in “The Fifth Estate” as the spokesperson for the Wikileaks website. And the team that made Bruhl look like a burn victim are likely to be nominated as well.
Oscar champ Anthony Dod Mantle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) is all but sure to contend again for his deft lensing which puts the viewer in the driver’s seat time and again.
Likewise, the sound editing and sound mixing crews are working at their top of their game as are the visual effects wizards and all are certain to be Oscar nominees.
Will Bruhl break into the supporting actor race? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.