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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

Ford vs Ferrari

Never Tries to be Something it’s Not

Ford v Ferrari has been nominated for 4 Oscars and I was finally been able to see it yesterday, I can see what all the fuss is about. In 1966, American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) battled corporate interference and the laws of physics to create a groundbreaking race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari (Remo Girone) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

If any film has it within them to be excellent, the filmmakers don't have to try so hard to make it so. Some filmmakers try way too hard and it negatively shows in the final cut. Ford v Ferrari will not even be on my top ten list, but it never struck me as a film that tried too hard. It's proud without being arrogant and it never pretends to be something it's not. Audiences can feel the love as Bale races throughout the film.

Damon’s Shelby is very familiar with many of his other roles, or maybe Damon does films like Ford v Ferrari too often. He certainly wasn't bad but I didn't see any originality in his portrayal of someone on the verge of making something great. Bale, on the other hand, is literally the film’s race car. The driver's seat is the professional seat and Bale remains tightly buckled in through it all. He calls people out on their nonsense without seeming cocky or losing purity.

The script is entirely about getting from one scene to the next but never in ways that feel rushed or insincere. The sound design was outstanding and really speaks to the volume of how effective sound design is in films. Ford v Ferrari is definitely not the best film of the year but it gives audiences a sense of feeling excited and relaxed at the same time. The sensation of a popcorn movie like Ford v Ferrari is all audiences want: Fun, fast and fearless.

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