‘Veloce come il vento’ (which translates ‘fast as the wind’ – but got the English title Italian Race is a quite original combination between a teen drama, a car races story (including the corresponding stunts) and a moralistic story about what (mostly bad) drugs do to people. All is based on a true story, or at least the true characters of a brother and sister in a race cars pilots family. The result is a fresh film, with enough drama and good acting to keep the interest of the viewers and confirm that the Italian cinema is the place where one can find lately more and more interesting films.
Giulia de Martino (Matilda De Angelis) is racing cars although she is just 17 and does not even have a driving license. This is apparently possible in Italy especially if you are born into a car racing family, and her father is trainer and mentor. The film actually opens with the death of her father, and we are soon in family drama territory, with a drug addicted brother showing up and settling in the house which is also inhabited by the younger brother. To keep the house the girl must go on racing, and the unsettling brother proves to be an ex-pilot, fallen out of the path of life or races because of his addiction. What follows is a combination of coming-to-age and family drama combined with spectacular car races, and some melodrama. We eventually learn that the smile on the face of a kid is more important that money, or even houses, or even winning in car races.
Much of the film attraction is due to the splendid performances of the two lead actors Stefano Accorsi and Matilda De Angelis . Accorsi’s character who sees his life destroyed by drugs but keeps trying to be a good person is poignant, while De Angelis is smart and beautiful and her work here may draw the attention of the international scene, she has all the looks and skills for success. Director Matteo Rovere seems to specialized in films about the problems of teenagers, here is broadening the scope with the exploration of the world of the car races (legal and illegal). The result is a film which looks fresh and true and keeps the interest of viewers even if car races or teenagers problems are not their preferred themes.