A story so familiar my wife the film scholar accurately predicted the entire plot of the movie after the first half hour. But what fun they obviously had making it, and in a way that translates onto the screen in the form of genuine chemistry, believable emotional peaks, and plenty of laughs. The kind of movie I would have watched over and over as a teen, memorising all the one-liners.
Whatever a film's limitations -- and you could only say this one doesn't set its sights too high -- there is such pleasure it watching excellent actors do good work. Cámara and Darín are wonderful. As a study in grief and dying, this aligns with my beliefs: that they are enormously difficult to comprehend but also part of life, free of any obligation to be broadly insightful.
Also, I miss Madrid.
The easy line is what did you expect from a movie about cars going around corners? Charmless protagonist leads charmed life of repeat failures and minimal consequences. Flashy in a very dated way (they live streamed the final race on their flip phones??) and super lazy in the writing. There is surprisingly little drifting.
Very interesting. It gets better and better the further into it you get, and the pace of events later in the film place the (obsessively) meditative earlier stretches in context. I would see it again just for some of the images: the walking through the grass scene, the falling scene, the beautiful final scene.