In 1966, Ferrari had one the 24 hour race of Le Mans for 6 consecutive years and Ford had enough. By bringing in the innovative American automotive designer Carrol Shelby and the ferocious British race car driver Ken Miles, Ford created the unstoppable Ford GT40 to win the biggest race of all time.
I’ve always been into cars and Ford. I own a 2003 Mustang given to me by my grandfather and I knew a lot about Carrol Shelby. So upon hearing about this film, I was very excited. Having a star-studded cast and the incredible James Mangold as director, I knew it would be marvelous to say the least.
With that, James Mangold took this film in a great direction not making the race the focus of the film, but the people involved in the race. The friendship between Shelby and Miles, the marriage of Miles and his wife, the relationship of Miles and his son, and Shelby and the Ford people. All of these relationships and people create what one the 1966 race of Le Mans. Sometimes it’s not about the win, but the race to get there.
As I said, the cast is just wonderful! Matt Damon as Carol Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles was perfect casting to say the least! Their chemistry is vital for this film to work and both Damon and Bale made it work on a level that made their brotherhood real. Each of the sticking up for one another, putting up with each others baggage, and helping them overcome them. Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, Josh Lucas, Tracy Letts, and many more all bring life to this film!
The Cinematography was also magnificent! Many shots in this film felt very “Mangold” (the director). Placing the camera in places that made this feel fresh, unique, and different from other racing car movies that are out there. Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, who also shot “Walk The Line” with Mangold brought a great sense of style and distinctiveness to this film through great lighting choices as well as again, placing the camera in unexpected places to set this film apart from any other racing film.
The story of Le Mans in 1966 is inspiring and tragic. It really makes you think about your relationships with those around you. Seeing Ken Miles and his son makes me think of the relationship with my dad. That’s what this film I think tackled and nailed perfectly. It felt personal and beyond “just a race”. Complements to screenwriters, Jez Butterworth, Jon-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller, and James Mangold on that note.
All in all, Ford V Ferrari is an absolute delight of a film. This is definitely gonna become a cult-classic for many and it certainly will be in my books. Go give it watch!
I’ll give Ford V Ferrari a 5/5.