Senna

Senna

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. 4.1 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Senna

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Asif Kapadia
Cast Alain Prost, Frank Williams Ayrton Senna
Studio Universal Pictures
Release Date June 2011
Running Time 104 mins
 

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Reviews

The Spectator

Deborah Ross

This is not just a good film — it’s a great film: fascinating, exciting, nerve-wracking and profoundly moving ... I still don’t, actually, get motor-racing as a sport, or why anyone would want to watch cars going fast around big circles, but I did get why Senna became a global superstar. He had this thrilling raw ability, passing cars before they could even figure out what was happening, but it wasn’t just that. He was also, as well as intensely competitive, thoughtfully eloquent, stood up to anything he thought was unfair, had that devastating smile, and was deeply spiritual.

04/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Shattering in the gentlest way, edited with rare care, it’s an affirmation of all the bonds Senna forged in his life — with his family, colleagues, the people of Brazil. To emerge unmoved is just about inconceivable.

02/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

The cinematic qualities of the late Ayrton Senna won't come as a surprise to F1 fans, but for the rest of us this extraordinary documentary is a revelation. Asif Kapadia, the director, has sifted thousands of hours of television and home movie archive, and the footage he's unearthed is almost too good to be true.

05/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Observer

Philip French

A viscerally exciting and intellectually stimulating documentary ... The brilliantly edited film is based entirely on footage drawn from hundreds of hours of newsreel, material from Formula One's own archives, much of it previously unseen, and from the Senna family's home movies. There are no re-enactments or talking heads looking back over the career.

04/06/2011

Read Full Review


Time Out

Dave Calhoun

This is a Proustian madeleine of a film that will jolt the nostalgia of anyone who was even vaguely aware of Formula 1 in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Even if you couldn’t give two crank shafts about motor racing, Senna’s life remains a remarkable one and this film is a punchy, good-looking and clever tribute that should have an appeal far beyond a petrolhead crowd.

02/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Wendy Ide

Ultimately, Senna’s formidable charisma is at least as powerful a tool in the film as his driving skills. By the end of the story, whatever your level of interest in motor racing, it’s hard not to feel a pang of loss over his untimely death.

03/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

This film could have benefited from some judicious editing, but it’s set to be a sporting classic.

05/06/2011

Read Full Review


Total Film

Total Film

Flawed and reluctant to dig too deep, but also a lyrical, haunting and nerve-wracking portrait: the thinking man’s true-life Top Gun (with cars).

25/05/2011

Read Full Review


Variety

John Anderson

... Has the kinetic energy and tragic story to make it a winner ...

23/01/2011

Read Full Review


Empire Magazine

Dan Jolin

Ambitiously constructed, deeply compelling, thrilling and in no way only for those who like watching cars drive in circles. A worthy paean to a true talent.

11/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

I kept wanting Senna, for all its skill and the touches of imagination brought by fiction director Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Far North), to go further. I wanted a more Kane-like deconstruction of this hero who was also an ogre. Maybe a dramatised biopic will come along: it should.

02/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Steve Rose

It has been possible to fashion Senna's story as a live action drama rather than a posthumous documentary; we're not so much hearing what happened in the past as seeing it happen before our eyes. The immediacy of the approach is exhilarating and, as we approach the inevitably tragic ending, undeniably emotional.

02/06/2011

Read Full Review


The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Asif Kapadia, who has specialised in folk tales (The Warrior; Far North), is an unexpected choice of director, even allowing for Senna's status as a mythical hero to his poverty-stricken compatriots. But Kapadia brings an unusual texture to the movie by ensuring that interviewees are heard but not seen, and by denying us any objective narration. Combined with VHS images that keep splintering into crackling static, as though the master tapes had been driven over at the Circuit de Monaco, this creates a tension between the immediacy of the storytelling and the transparent fallibility of the footage.

02/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Kapadia accomplishes all this and much more by his dextrous use of the available footage, only occasionally hampered by the fact Senna's proud family had some say in what should and should not be included in the final film. One could have wished experts such as journalist Richard Williams had been given more space to say more about what our hero was really like. But that is not Kapadia's style - he wants us to look rather than analyse ...

03/06/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore