The Art of Racing Against the Rain Review - Captivating, Engaging, A Touching Love Story

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The Art of Racing Against the Rain, from Fox 2000 and Twentieth Century Fox, presents the story of a formula one driver, his faithful golden retriever, the twists and turns of fate and the art of living.

Directed by Simon Curtis, The Art of Racing Against the Rain stars Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Lily Dodsworth-Evans, Martin Donovan, Kathy Baker, Don Kitch, Andres Joseph, Ian Lake, Al Sapienza and McKinley Belcher III.

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The Art of Racing Against the Rain opens with a familiar voice reaching out from the screen and before the story cements the voice over, which we later learn is Kevin Costner, voices the thoughts of an aged golden retriever, lying next to the door, tired, with control failing, we hear him begin to tell a story.

The story begins as it does with all, the earliest memories of a young pup, and a handsome stranger, Denny, played by Milo Ventimiglia, looking over the litter until one seemed a perfect fit. Soon our pup has a new name, Enzo, and becomes the constant companion to his owner Denny.

As Ezno tells the story, he was really meant to be a formula one driver like his owner who is a race car driver and we learn of his ancestral beliefs that when a dog dies in his next life he returns as a man and with this in mind he wants to learn everything he can so to be prepared to be the best man possible.

In the interim as Enzo tells the story his task is caring for Denny, making sure when Denny needs distracted, he shows up with the dog leash for a run or the remote so they can enjoy watching old racing films.

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In a flash, a year has gone by and as fate would have it, one day at the market Denny meets Eve, played by Amanda Seyfried. Before we know it, they are getting married. Eve, whose parents Enzo calls "The Twins" played by Martin Donovan and Kathy Baker, are happy for their daughter and sad that she isn't marrying someone from the club.

Not long Eve and Denny are expecting, and as Enzo explains, it is a most unusual time in the household. Before long the baby, Zoe, is born and Eve explains to Enzo it is his duty to protect her forever. As Denny had a chance to drive for the Daytona 500, tackling the track in the rain and positioning his team for a win, he missed the birth.

Enzo explains the joy of having a child and family around as it made his heart burst with happiness to see the joy on their faces as he humiliated himself chasing his own tail or playing tug of war. Life was good, he recollects. We were a family. And then, pain, deep, unfathomable pain.

Just when it seemed as if life was perfect, the future bright, the road clear, and the track dry, fate, kismet, chance, or destiny appears and suddenly the sun retreats, dark clouds cover the road, a monsoon makes driving nearly impossible, and the life that was once filled with joy is now overflowing with sorrow.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain, an absorbing, touching, captivating and moving story of life told from the recollections and vantage point of a golden retriever.

With Kevin Costner telling the story, the audience is immediately drawn in with a voice that is somewhat older, a bit more gravellier, and still as engaging as his other voice over roles that have entertained in the past.

The cast, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Martin Donovan and Kathy Baker, compliment this story with solid, engaging, and affecting performances. The film wouldn't be complete without mentioning of course the several retrievers who played Enzo.

The Art of Racing Against the Rain is an emotional roller coaster with gripping, riveting moments, filled with unexpected twists and turns. It is hysterical at times, scenes that bring laughter days later, and scenes that simply bring a sigh. The dialogue is fresh, and the story is genuine, authentic, and one can see the events mirroring life.

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Family friendly, The Art of Racing Against the Rain is affecting, engaging, funny, sad, memorable and a deeply entertaining film. It opens Friday, August 9, 2019. See it.

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