Ford v Ferrari
Length: 152 minutes / 2.53 hours
Full disclosure: I’m not a “car guy.” Sure, my education was in Mechanical Engineering, and I can appreciate well-crafted machines, but I see cars as mere tools to get from point A to point B. Consequently, I don’t have much interest in car racing and didn’t initially want to see Ford v Ferrari (2019). Luckily for me, this film was chosen as one of this year’s nominees for Best Picture. After watching it, I can clearly see why. For someone who isn’t into cars or racing, I was completely enthralled and entertained by Ford v Ferrari.
This movie is a tour de force when it comes to several filmmaking aspects. It expertly used its sound design, music, and cinematography to give the raw tension of racing highly-engineered machines meant for one thing only: to go fast. In fact, I only had two qualms with this movie on the whole. First, the “marketing guy antagonist” seemed a little cliché, even if I’m sure there was plenty of truth in what happened. Second, there are only so many racing sequences I can take before they all start looking the same. I understand there were a lot of individual races—many of which lasted for an eye-watering 24 hours—but it almost becomes tedious to see the same portions of the racetrack again and again.
As for the acting, I felt Christian Bale and Matt Damon hit it out of the park with their performances. I felt emotional connections to their motivations and their frustrations with being unable to accomplish the impossible. Overall, the story is gripping and intense, with a fantastic twist near the end that I won’t give away because it was such a gut punch. I’m glad that I had the chance to see this movie in the theater just for the pure spectacle of it on the big screen with the power of the sound system bringing every rumbling engine to life.
An almost perfect movie about the synergy of competitive man and engineered machine, I give Ford v Ferrari 4.5 stars out of 5.