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Passione, La Review

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A young boy inherits his Italian father's passion for Motor Racing and in particular the Ferrari team

★★★★

Living in the dark gloom of the industrial north of England in 1961, it is little wonder that 10-year-old Jo Maldini (Orange) yearns for his Italian homeland, the romance offered by the world of Ferrari, and the lifestyle of his racing hero, Wolfgang Von Trips. It’s a passion inherited from his papa (Shane, complete with Yorkshire accent), a man grown bitter in the struggle to provide for his family. As Jo grows up, his daydreams take over his life, and when an image of Shirley Bassey sings to him of the need to follow his dream, he rejects the family ice cream business and goes to London to make his fortune and achieve his ideal — to own a Ferrari.
This gentle tale is partly based on the boyhood dreams of Chris Rea, who wrote and produced the film. He also wrote the music, so it’s impossible to avoid spotting singles and videos earmarked for Top Of The Pops.
In fact, it’s not long before you wonder whether this isn’t one long pop video, packed with clichéd, superimposed images: small boy gazing wistfully out of window, candles flickering around the sad visages of religious icons, horses cantering through a spring morning.
Sadly, that’s all there really is to this film. With two-dimensional characters, the actors don’t have much to work on — although Jo does blossom into a convincing tycoon (Gallagher) — and both narrative style and pace are annoyingly erratic.
If you like cars, you’ll enjoy the action shots of the Formula One sharknose Ferraris (recreated especially for the film), and the 1960s Grand Prix footage. But then again, you could just stay at home and watch Top Gear instead

Dull, boring, tedious, Chris Rea.