'Ford v Ferrari' movie review: Beating Ferrari in style

Screenshot: YouTube

Ford v Ferrari

Director: James Mangold

Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Caitriona Balfe

Score: 4.5/5

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing. The 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 was a historic day in the world of motor racing, not least due to the fact that Ferrari lost its winning multi-year streak, but that it lost to Ford, a company that was, until then, not even remotely hoping to win in the racing big leagues. Ford v Ferrari pays tribute to that year and to the men who made it possible.

The film follows Carroll Shelby, a legendary racer-turned-carmaker, who is roped into Ford's racing programme after an embarrassing failure at acquiring Ferrari, and Ken Miles, Shelby's master racecar driver. At the core of the film lies the relationship between Shelby and Miles, which is brought out with incredible beauty by Matt Damon and Christian Bale.

Shelby and Miles are pitted against not only the engineering might of Ferrari, but also the cutthroat corporate culture at Ford, where a few individuals like Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) seek to further Ford's name as a serious brand for a new generation of young people with a little too much enthusiasm and Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal), who seems to be genuinely on Shelby's side and goes out of his way to warn the man of danger. In light of this, Shelby and Miles navigate corporate interests as much as they do their own selves and their skills with grace and reckless abandon. The supporting cast is also rich and highly developed, which easily justifies the 2.5-hour runtime.

The motor racing is a treat to behold, to put it lightly. It's got all the high-octane close-ups and fast pans, which drive the idea of zooming past at 7000 RPM really well and is accentuated by Shelby's remarks on how man and machine become 'one' in that number. There is just one criticism here: The 24 Hours of Le Mans doesn't feel as stressful in Miles' race as it did in the prologue with Shelby. James Mangold might finally be on to an Oscar after Logan didn't meet the cut.

To close, Ford v Ferrari has a bit of everything: Action, drama, comedy and it ties them together with a nice bit of heart. Just as the 1966 Le Mans is legendary in the racing scene, this film might just become legendary in the sports drama scene.

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