Ford vs. Ferrari written by Jez Butterworth, John Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller, Directed by James Mangold rating *****
Every year I attempt to see every nominated movie before the Oscars. This year I saw every film but Ford vs. Ferrari. The showtimes didn’t match up with my schedule. And, to be honest, I’m not a fan of racecar movies. I missed the boat on this one. It may not have gotten the buzz like 1917 or Parasite, but I felt that Ford vs. Ferrari was the overall best picture from last year.
I liked everything about this movie. I’ll start with the acting. Both Christian Bale and Matt Damon were great. But so was everyone else. Every supporting character had a moment to shine. That says a lot about the script. It should have at least received an original screenplay nomination.
Before I saw the film, I watched the documentary The 24 Hour War, which I highly recommend seeing either before or after watching Ford vs. Ferrari. Having watched the documentary, I knew about the story and the characters going in. I think the filmmakers did an excellent job of telling a compelling story while still sticking to the facts.
The premise of the movie is how Ford, known for its box-like family cars, decided to change their image by building a racecar to compete in the 24 hour Le Mans. That effort coincided with the release of the sporty Mustang. If all you saw was the trailer, you might think that Carol Shelby and Ken Miles had just 90 days to make a car from scratch that went on to win. That’s not quite how it goes down.
More than anything else, this film is about the people behind the racecars.