The true story of the bitter rivalry between car manufacturers Ford and Ferrari that culminated in a showdown at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Directed by James Mangold
Written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller
Starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Caitrona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Noah Jupe, Ray McKinnon
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Film Editing,
Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing
The story of the rivalry between American car manufacturer Ford and Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari is a brief but fascinating tale that is best told through the eyes of two men, Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Shelby (Damon) was a former racer turned race car salesman who was drafted by Lee Iacocca (Bernthal) of Ford Motors to build an American race car that could defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. This was an impossible task, as Ferrari was unbeatable and looked down on Ford for their assembly lines and "ugly" cars. Shelby took the challenge and brought onboard volatile racer Ken Miles (Bale), who didn't fit Ford's image but was the best racer Shelby had ever seen. Thus began the daunting task of building a car that could defeat Ferrari, and a badass awards-season biopic was born.
Damon and Bale are impeccable as Shelby and Miles, two men who understood racing better than anybody, and without whom the project never would've worked. I'm not a fan of racing, but this movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, mostly because the human drama and competitive nature of Ford Motors was like a Shakespearean play. People want to win, no matter what it takes or who gets hurt in the process. This movie greatly emphasizes that idea, and uses the race as a metaphor for Shelby and Miles trying to overcome their own demons and insecurities.
Ford v Ferrari tells an American story of determination and fearlessness in the face of almost certain defeat. It's for more than just racing enthusiasts. Any fan of a good story will be entranced by this film, and I wish it the best of luck at the Oscars. I think this is James Mangold's best movie, and a highly entertaining watch.