2021, Movies

Schumacher (2021, Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Vanessa Nöcker, Michael Wech)

This is an extremely workmanlike documentary about the first part of the career of Michael Schumacher and a tiny little bit about the accident. Much like the Jacques Cousteau documentary I just watched, it feels sanitized but in this case even more so. It also feels incomplete.

So we get a pretty detailed introduction to Schumacher’s career, first with his entry into Formula 1 and then with how he grew up driving Go Karts. This part is totally fine and probably the best part of the movie. But we spend most of the film on this and his early successes, and subsequent “struggles,” in F1. It’s a little short on detail but is otherwise fairly well done.

Unless you know much about him. Even though at least one infamous incident is covered in some degree of detail, others are not. One particular incident – I don’t know when it happened – is omitted entirely and probably more I’m unaware of. (To be fair to the film, maybe they occurred after his early championships at Ferrari.) It’s pretty clear the film has been approved by its estate. If the credits are any suggestion, it was more than approved by his estate.

The result feels perhaps not as true and accurate as it could be. But there are other problems:

One issue is how it just stops covering his career once he starts winning. Apparently this was not interesting enough so we jump through years of dominance to his comeback and the accident. There isn’t much detail about the accident not is there much in the way of detail about how he is currently living. (His wife and son say things but don’t really say anything.)

The other major issue is the score, which is Film Score Cliches 101, albeit on a keyboard. It’s so awful Jenn noticed it! It really is one of the lazier scores I’ve noticed in a film in some time. And it doesn’t help a film that feels incomplete and possibly unfair.


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