After the hugely successful 2017 Logan, now James Mangold is moving on with his first true story adaptation of a total of 11 films he has directed in his career, which is an automotive-themed true story film titled ‘Ford v Ferrari’ which tells the story of a big-name rivalry. 2 automotive brands in a 24-hour racing event called ’24 Hours of Le Mans’ in 1966.
In the film where James Mangold also serves as producer, he brings two big names as the main characters who are the center of the plot of this film, Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, Interstellar) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Fighter). Then supported by other names such as Jon Bernthal (Fury, The Wolf of Wall Street), Caitriona Balfe (Now You See Me, Money Monster), Josh Lucas (Hulk, Poseidon) and Tracy Lets (Lady Bird, Indignation).
Ford v Ferrari tells the story of Carrol Shelby (Matt Damon) who had to retire early as a racer due to heart health problems in 1959. Five years later Shelby was visited by Lee Lacoca (Jon Bernthal) who had a mandate from Henry Ford II (Tracy Lets). to form an automotive team that can beat the Ferrari team after Ford felt humiliated after his invitation to cooperate was rejected by Ferrari. Shelby himself was offered to lead the team and was given the freedom to create his own car design to beat Ferrari. An impossible thing where Ferrari is the god of speed at that time. But the challenge was taken up by Shelby and not long after taking his best friend Ken Miles (Christian Bale) a very talented driver but has a temperamental problem. Shelby,
As someone who is not very literate with the automotive world, I have absolutely no idea what Ford v Ferrari will be like even though the film is based on a true story. And fortunately James Mangold visualizes this film in a way that is easily understood by audiences who are not familiar with automotive. Indeed, there are sections of dialogues that are still related to more detailed technical aspects of automotive. But it doesn’t really make us who don’t understand frown too much, because most of the technicalities in the dialogue are visualized in the form of scenes that make us ordinary viewers understand the meaning of the dialogue.
Even though it’s titled Ford v Ferrari, don’t think the main plot will tell the two main characters of the brand’s rivalry like the example we met in the film ‘Rush’ (2013) directed by Ron Howard. FvF focuses more on the story of Shelby and Miles’ relationship in their goal of defeating Ferrari. Even the enemy in this film is not on the side of Ferrari, but in Ford itself, represented by Josh Lucas who plays a good role as Leo Beebe who serves as the representative and right hand man of Henry Ford II who has his own mission. Beyond that, we’ll look at the ups and downs between Shelby and Miles working together. And herein lies the main strength of FvF, 152 minutes really does not see the chemistry of the two of them in playing their roles.
Then move on to the parts of the racing scene. If you feel that Ron Howard’s version of ‘Rush’ is the benchmark for visualizing exciting car races, then get ready you will get more exciting things through FvF which cinematography is held by Phedon Papamichael (The Descendants, Nebraska). I won’t be surprised anymore if Phedon Papamichel’s name will appear in many nominations this award season in the best cinematography category of course.
The release of FvF at the end of this year seems very reasonable to be able to compete with other films in the award event which will be held in the next 4-5 months. And seeing the results releasing it this month was the right decision. And I really hope that James Mangold can appear in one of the best director nominations at the awards ceremony.