CAST: CHRIS HEMSWORTH, Daniel Brühl, OLIVIA WILDE, ALEXANDRA MARIA LARA, STEPHEN MANGAN, CHRISTIAN MCKAY, BUBBLES HORSLEY, DOC POSTLETHWAITE, PIERFRANCESCO FAVINO, NATALIE DORMER
DIRECTOR: RON HOWARD
Set against the sexy, glamorous and spectacular 1970s golden age of Formula 1 racing, ‘Rush’ portrays the exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the world has ever witnessed – handsome English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and his methodical, brilliant opponent Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Following their personal lives on and off the track, the two drivers push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there were no short cuts to victory and no margin for error – if you make a mistake, you die.
British screenwriter/playwright Peter Morgan believed that the Lauda-Hunt rivalry and their accompanying thrilling battles during the 1976 Formula 1 season was a story that transcended the sports pages.
Morgan has earned a reputation as a master of modern-history movie scripts. He captured the intrigue behind Uganda’s brutal dictator Idi Amin (‘The Last King of Scotland’), Queen Elizabeth II’s struggles following the death of Princess Diana (‘The Queen’), the behind-the-scenes drama surrounding David Frost’s 1977 interview with former U.S. President Richard Nixon (‘Frost/Nixon’) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s relationships with both his successor, Gordon Brown (‘The Deal’), and former U.S. President Bill Clinton (‘The Special Relationship’). “I grew up in England knowing all about James Hunt,” Morgan recalls, “but I never knew Niki’s side of the story.’”
The screenwriter, who lives in Austria, approached Lauda with an idea to write a script that dramatized the tumultuous 1976 racing season. Lauda consented and provided Morgan with invaluable input during the draft stages. “We had a lot of discussions about the Hollywood movie and the reality,” Lauda says. “I always brought him back to the reality. They were very interesting discussions.”
The passions, personalities and competitive extremes of these characters — not to mention his experience with Morgan on ‘Frost/Nixon’ — convinced two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard to direct ‘Rush’. “The characters are so rich. The rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda was dramatic. It was violent, sexy and, ultimately, it was very emotional and triumphant — the makings of a great screen drama.”
‘Arbitrage’, the feature directorial debut of writer Nicholas Jarecki, is a taut suspense thriller about love, loyalty, and high finance. When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed.
Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller’s also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Côte (Laetitia Casta). Just as he’s about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected bloody error forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a face from Miller’s past.