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  • James Mangold
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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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Ford v Ferrari: A Breath of Fresh Brilliance

Photos by Merrick Morton – © 20th Century Fox via

Every once in awhile, a film stands out as a beautiful breath of fresh air. Ford v Ferrari is a rare thrill that will inspire, captivate, and excite, even if it takes two and a half hours of your time.

Ford v Ferrari is based on a true story; Ford decided to rival the racing mogul Ferrari and beat it in the Le Mans 24-hour race, after an insultingly failed merger. Ford Motors, in the form of executives Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) and Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas), on behalf of Mr Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts), reach out to former race driver and current race car builder, Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), to build them a race car and find the perfect driver to beat Ferrari. Shelby decides on the difficult, sour-mouthed British bankrupt prodigy race driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale), which does not sit well with Leo Beebe who does all he can to exclude him. The pair venture onto the seemingly impossible task of building a car that will beat Ferrari, almost risking everything.

The plot may seem too corporate; however, the feature handles this aspect so entertainingly, that it becomes of interest to the viewer and uses it as another obstacle that faces the heroes while giving the audience the full picture of the story. Yes, the feature is a somewhat unusually long 152 minutes, but the flow does not falter, making boredom unlikely.

The racing parts of the film are ever so thrilling, thanks to the brilliant directorial skills of James Mangold, who relies on the claustrophobic shots from inside Miles’ car, rather than the generic bird-eye shots.

What truly sets the film apart is the perfect alignment between the script and the characters’ inner psyches, motives, struggles, and emotions. Subtly funny and plausible, the writing flows smoothly and doesn’t feel forced. The characters are multi-dimensional, inspirational beings, who are not rigidly restricted to the true-story base.

The cast is stellar, which doesn’t always mean great performances, but this time it definitely does. Matt Damon and Christian Bale create a duo that work wonders, and even though the characters completely contrast, the pair are able to make that aspect enjoyable. Bale is beyond brilliant, making audiences absolutely love the crude Miles. Damon’s performance is more subtle, but just as brilliant, as he is able to make his character seem tangibly real, even though the audiences know very little about his personal life. Playing a villainous role, Josh Lucas is an evil genius, making the audience hate his guts with a burning vengeance. The rest of the cast are also able to live up to their roles, with no letdown performances in sight.

Even if you are not into racing movies, Ford v Ferrari is a film about passion, soul, and determination that you should definitely see. 






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The King's Speech (2010), and Eddie the Eagle (2015).

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Matt Damon said the number one reason he wanted to do the movie was to work with Christian Bale.

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