Ford vs. Ferrari is undoubtedly a well-executed film with great performances from Christian Bale and Caitriona Balfe. Matt Damon is certainly solid as well in James Mangold’s followup after his critically acclaimed release Logan. For a film where the ending was never in doubt, the writers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth proved quite deft at increasing the intensity of the narrative at every turn. However, there were points in the film where it seemed the story was lost in the minutia of racing. While I’m sure these details needed to shared, Ford vs. Ferrari is a tale of redemption. Carroll Shelby (Damon) is setting out to reclaim a spot in winners row, and Ken Miles (Bale) wants to be recognized for his talents.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this event, Ford vs. Ferrari is about Henry Ford II to put together a winning race team to take out Ferrari and win the 24 hours at Le Mans. Shelby is a former racer turned owner, and Miles is rough around the edges driver who has the talent to bring Ford the victory. While I certainly did enjoy the Chemistry between Bale and Damon, what stood out to me was Caitriona Balfe (who plays the wife of Ken Miles). She was the perfect mix of intensity and sincerity. Her scene (when they are driving home from the store) might be my favorite part of the film. Pendon Paramichael’s cinematography was stellar. I loved the creative use of angles and the use of closeups, which made audience members feel as if we were in the race car with Miles.
Overall, Ford vs. Ferrari is a fine followup for Mangold and excellent film to check out on November 15th. Although not perfect, I would certainly expect to see some minor buzz around this film as we get deeper into awards season. In reality, all that should matter is that it’s damn good time.