Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Simon Curtis and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the world through a dogs eyes who knows THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.
Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia) is an up and coming race car driver who finds himself falling head over heels for a four legged furry Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). This is Enzo telling the story of their meeting and life together. Finding himself drawn to Denny’s world of racing, Enzo can’t get enough of everything they do.
That is until schoolteacher Eve (Amanda Seyfried) comes into the picture! Enzo isn’t exactly thrilled with the change in Denny and having to share what he considers a perfect life with a third person. Eventually a fourth person in the form of Zoe (Ryan Armstrong) arrives and Enzo realizes that he has enough love for everyone and becomes Zoe’s protector.
Through the years Denny supports his family racing and is away occasionally and Eve is watched over by Enzo. That is when he senses that something is wrong with Eve but there isn’t any way to make Denny aware of it. On a walk, Eve collapses and Enzo has to use the only voice he has to get help.
Now Denny and Zoe are finding their stride while Eve is in hospital. There is backup by Eve’s judgmental father Maxwell (Martin Donovan) and doting mother Trish (Kathy Baker). Helping with Zoe, Denny stops going out on the road and returns to the track teaching for boss Don (Gary Cole). The goal of everyone is to make sure Eve is comfortable and Enzo keeps a very close eye nightly.
When things turn tragic, Denny is pit up against Eve’s father and Enzo wants to make it clear that he knows what’s happening. When Maxwell oversteps his bounds and Denny reacts, it starts a chain of pain for everyone including Zoe and Enzo isn’t about to allow anything to happen to his family.
Ventimiglia as Denny is a man who knows exactly how he wants to spend his life – behind the wheel of a very fast car. Everyone believes he is magical at his job and even the woman he marries is supportive (not so much the daddy dearest father-in-law). This is a role that Ventimiglia is becoming known for with his ability to be the trusted emotional support for everyone around him even if his world is falling apart. The combination of Denny and Enzo is beautiful.
Seyfried as Eve accepts that her husband just loves to be behind the wheel, although she might not understand it, there is nothing more important to her than Denny’s success. It’s nice to see that supportiveness from them both actually as conflict seems to permeate films with couples in them lately. These two are just want each other to be happy and Seyfried does that – until her character can’t.
Baker as Mom Trish is the more relaxed of the couple and lets it be known that he likes Denny even if she is nervous about his chosen profession. Donovan as Maxwell is that one character that I can’t help but curl my lip up at. He is judgmental and finds any opportunity to make Denny uncomfortable as a husband and father. It takes a lot for me to not like a character and Donovan does his job well. Cole as Don just has a presence that I have always enjoyed. From comedy, to drama to being a bad guy, he also makes playing a good guy pretty dang awesome.
Now, Costner as the voice of Enzo the dog – can I just say I absolutely adored it. He had the ability to make me believe I was listening, well, to a dog! I loved the way he spoke, his description of life, the people in it and when being naught I found myself cheering him/Enzo on. So well done and made me tear up on more than one occasion, especially “one more lap” (you’ll see, have tissue at the ready!)
Other cast include Lily Dodsworth-Evans as Teenage Zoe, Al Sapienza as Luca Pantoni, McKinely Belcher III as Mark Finn, Ian Lake as Uncle Mike and Andres Joseph as Tony.
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The Bluray Special Features Include A Journey to Screen, Directing the Art, Enzo Cam, Behind the Wheel, The Dog Stays in the Picture, Enzo’s First Ride and Audio Commentary by Director Simon Curtis.
There are a lot of films about dogs in the last few years and there are some very heart-warming ones. THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN just had me feeling almost every range of human or dog emotions possible. I loved Enzo as a puppy immediately but it becomes clearer and clearer with Costner’s help that he is no ordinary dog. Enzo is a thinker and breaks it all down as he waits to become, like Pinocchio, human.
He knows his racing first of all which I thought was pretty cool but he also knows so much more and realizes that he grows emotionally because he sees something for his future. I think what really got me was his description of Eve’s leaving when he said “I know because I saw it” and I lost it.
The cast had their role to play as well of a family dealing with love, marriage, family, death, anger and acceptance of putting one step in front of the other to keep life in front of them all. There is so much for the family to experience with this film and it is my heartfelt hope that they see it together and talk about it all after.
In the end – meet the dog who shoes the world how to be human!