Here is another amazing true story brought to life in the big screen. In the 1960’s Henry Ford II of Ford Motors company was apparently so pissed off and insulted by remarks made by Enzo Ferrari that he took it upon himself to set a target for Ford Motors to build the fastest car in the world and win the 24 hours Le Mans’ race!! When one’s ego is involved there is no monetary barrier to getting what he wants. In comes the two main guys who made it happen for Ford Motors – British sports car driver and engineer Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale) and American card designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon).
Director James Mangold (whose previous directorial credits include the X-Men movies The Wolverine and Logan) manages to make what could otherwise have been a long boring two and a half hours semi-documentary style account of the events leading to the Ford victory, into an unforgettable story about friendship, uncompromising passion, the thrill of speed, the sacrifices of a race driver and what human ego can achieve. Long movies often suffer from poor pacing which may invariably end up losing its audience attention span half way through. Fortunately Ford v Ferrari suffers no such problems and instead takes us on one exciting trip as we experience the ups and downs of the breakneck world of car racing.
It’s beautifully photographed and offers lots of insight and details of the racing world which we, the common folk would never know of. The close and intimate camera angles of the car racing sequences comes across as exciting and involving. This is the next best thing to being actually at the races to witness and feel the adrenaline flow that the high speed can bring. Matt Damon and Christian Bale were well cast in their roles as their on screen bromance and friendship feels authentic and believable. As a testament to the film’s merit, Ford v Ferrari actually managed to get 4 Academy Awards nominations including one for Best Picture of the Year. It eventually and justifiably won two technical Academy Awards for Film Editing and Sound Editing.