With the Academy Awards right around the corner, I always like to take some time beforehand and catch up on some of the Best Picture nominees that I missed and wanted to see.
Luckily for me, “Ford v. Ferrari” was still in the theaters when I was looking for something to watch, which saved me from having to go see “Little Women.”
Not saying that “Little Women” looked bad or anything. It’s just that given the choice between a movie about little women and race cars, I’m going to choose race cars 10 times out of 10.
“Ford v. Ferrari” tells the true story of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they work against insurmountable odds to build a Ford vehicle to rival the reigning champion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, Ferrari.
Starting off with what will soon be an iconic cold open, the film is enjoyable for all audiences.
While there are moments of exceptional drama and seriousness, there is a good blend of humor and action throughout that keeps the audience on its toes and makes for a film without a single dull moment.
Damon and Bale are both fantastic in their respective roles, but Bale really stands out throughout the film.
The man truly is a chameleon.
It is almost hard to believe that the same guy who was Batman, Dick Cheney and the menacing Patrick Bateman plays a convincing family man and dedicated racer in this, but Bale pulls it off without any visible effort.
Bale will be remembered as one of the greatest actors of this modern era, and with “Ford v. Ferrari” under his belt, that legacy is only getting further cemented.
Another standout performer was Josh Lucas, who was able to capture the smarmy attitude of Ford executive Leo Beebe with expert precision.
Why he isn’t in more things is something that people can only guess at, but Lucas deserves to get bigger roles.
What sets “Ford v. Ferrari” apart from other movies centered around racing is its presentation of each race.
The cinematography that is utilized throughout the film is unlike anything ever seen before.
The filmmakers were somehow able to take traditional first person point of view shots from the perspective of the car and make them intelligible to the audience.
Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they also make the fast -paced action of the race more immersive for the audience.
The line between fast enough that the audience feels like they are in the car and too fast that the audience gets sick is walked along perfectly throughout the runtime, and even though each race is similar in format the audience never gets tired or bored of watching them.
There is always something new to see and exciting happening with each lap, and the filmmakers do an excellent job at making the audience aware of what those things are.
“Ford v Ferrari” is far more entertaining than many of the other films that are nominated for Best Picture this year.
While it is obvious why this film is nominated, it shows an interesting new lean for the Academy, where it is choosing more mainstream films for nominations.
Hopefully the days of the Best Picture winner being completely unknown to the average movie goer are in the past.
Audiences and critics agree “Ford v. Ferrari” is an excellent film, and has most certainly earned its Oscar nomination.
Between the incredible acting and the expert level storytelling, if “Ford v Ferrari” doesn’t at least take home one Oscar, it would be a terrible upset.