Ford V Ferrari has dominated the box office this weekend and stands at No. 1 , with a global start of 52.4 million. 20th Century Fox had projected an opening of just shy of 20 million, however it made 31 million in North America alone. Director James Mangold recounts the 1960s era of auto racing. This movie is a throwback blockbuster, and a genuine crowd pleaser. It’s entertaining enough to even appeal to non-racing fans. It currently stands on Rotten Tomatoes with a fresh score of 92% and a 98% audience score rating. I went into the movie not knowing the story, and not knowing what to expect. This is a well-told story about little to known racing history. It tells the historic events of Ford Motors quest to building the fastest sport car, and winning the 24 hours of Le Mans. Ford v Ferrari is one of the big Oscar hopeful contenders that seems to be gaining momentum already.
Ford V Ferrari tells the true story of Ford Motor’s journey to the 1966 Le Mans race. Ford Motors hired an American racing team to defeat Ferrari. Christian Bale plays English racer and sports car engineer Ken Miles, and Matt Damon plays car designer, and 1959 Le Mans Champion Carroll Shelby. Together they made the American designed Ford GT40 that went on to dominate the race track. This caused an era of Ford victories on the race track , and Ford went on to win the 24 hours of Le Mans race four consecutive times, from 1966-1969. Hearing the roar of the GT40 was a rush of adrenaline that made you feel like you were in the front seat. This movie showcases the rivalry between Ford motors and Ferrari. Every minute of this 152 minute movie, was enjoyable to me. Ford initially tried to buy Ferrari from Enzo Ferrari, but after several days of negotiations, Enzo declined the offer. Ford Motors then decided to dump millions of dollars into the project to beat Ferrari at the Le Mans 24 hour race.
Matt Damon and Christian Bale were well suited for their roles, and did fantastic jobs . The chemistry between Bale and Damon is what makes this movie what it is. They are a dynamic duo, and so magnetic together. There isn’t a role Damon nor Nolan doesn’t nail. It’s a great story of Carroll Shelby, and Ken Miles and their friendship, and the events that occurred in order for them to accomplish the impossible. In 2001 Miles was inducted in the Motorsports hall of fame.
This story also highlights the issue with corporate bigwigs and their greed, and not trusting those with extensive knowledge in the field, and proper qualifications. Although Ford Motor went on to win Le Man’s race four times in a row, this story tells you the historical 1966 Le Mans race of the controversial last lap of the race, with Kevin Miles behind the wheel. It truly is a fascinating, yet heart-breaking story.
There are tons of thrilling racing sequences, which are exhilarating. This movie has humor, action, and friendship. Along with the beautiful cars they show off, they tell a compelling story of history, in a simplifying way. The story doesn’t feel rushed, or too slow. The first half of the movie focuses, and spends time on building characters, and the second half is full of adrenaline pumping scenes, that leave you on the edge of your seat.
As the weeks continue, I’m sure we will see more buzz for some Ford V Ferrari nominations at the Oscars. So, buckle up and go see this movie . It sucks you in and won’t let you out until the finish line.