Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Ford v Ferrari” Film is more than just racing

Colin Tobin

“Ford v Ferrari” was directed by James Mangold and stars Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby (car manufacturer) and Christian Bale as Ken Miles (racecar driver). It tells the story of how the Ford mo- tor company planned to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the mid-1960s.

Over the past few years, Mangold has become one of my favorite working directors, with his past projects like “Logan” and the remake of “3:10 to Yuma.” I was very excited to see what he was going to do next, and once again, he delivered.

The main hesitation that I had before going to see this film was the fear that it would just be a feature-length car commercial for Ford, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. I was actually really surprised to see that Ford was depicted to be an antagonist a few times. There are constant disagree- ments between Shelby, who is overseeing production of the car, and executives at Ford who want to sabotage certain aspects of Shelby’s plan in order to gain more control. Oddly enough, the person made to be the most disliked by the end is one of the Ford executives, not someone at Ferrari. That’s another thing I really enjoyed. The story didn’t create an “us vs. them” or “America vs. Italy” type of conflict. Most of the conflicts turned out to be inter- nal rather than vilifying Enzo Ferrari and their racing team.

Damon and Bale give great performances which build an interesting dynamic between their two characters. Bale’s performance is even more impressive when you consider the 70 plus pounds he had to lose in only a few months after playing Dick Cheney in last year’s “Vice.”

One of the things I really loved about this movie was the fact that the cars and the racing always felt secondary to the characters. The film does a great job at investing you in these characters and giving you reasons to root for them. Shelby needs to sustain his reputation with Ford and Miles, because he needs the money for his family.

Another great relationship is between Miles and his son, Peter. Sure, the race sequences are adrenaline-fueled and exhilarating to watch, but it’s because you’re made to care about these characters so much. All of the ups and downs are felt through how they affect the characters, not the companies involved.

This is by far one of the best technically made films that I’ve seen so far this year. You can tell the sound de- sign during the race scenes is made to blast out of movie theater quality speakers. The cinematography during these scenes is intense and immersive. These scenes alone make it worth seeing in the theaters.

Even as someone who doesn’t care about cars or car racing, “Ford v Ferrari” is one of my favorite films that I’ve seen this year. I think that it’ll definitely be in the discussion when awards season voting opens up, espe- cially in the technical categories.

This post was written by:

- who has written 267 posts on The Wooster Voice.

Contact the author

Leave a Reply