Movie review: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ tells a true story with style

I’ve never been much of a car enthusiast, personally. I don’t even really like driving all that much; to me, it’s simply a way to get from one place to another. If I lived in a larger metropolitan area with an extensive public transportation system, I’d gladly ditch my car altogether.

However, I can still understand some of the mystique surrounding sports cars, especially ones that go really, really fast. Car racing is a daring and dangerous sport, pushing both humans and machines to their limits. The risks are high, but for certain people, there’s no replacement for that rush of adrenaline that comes from traveling faster than pretty much anyone else. At that point, it’s just you, your car, and the open road.

Before watching the new movie “Ford v Ferrari,” I wasn’t really familiar with the events surrounding Ford Motor Company’s attempt to steal the crown from Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. However, thanks to several excellent performances and cinematography that perfectly captures the heart-pounding thrill of sitting behind the steering wheel during a car race, “Ford v Ferrari” tells a magnificently compelling story.

At the time of the film, Ford was certainly not a car racing superpower; in fact, their attempts to create a new type of race car were looked on as a joke.

But automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) weren’t ones to back down from a challenge. Together, they worked tirelessly to create a car that they hoped would enable Ford to win the Le Mans race and gain international prestige.

Although this film is based on true events, I don’t want to “spoil” the ending in case you aren’t familiar with what happens and, like me, you want to be surprised. But I would imagine that even if you do know what happens at Le Mans, it’s still going to be a thrilling ride.

Even though I’m not super into car racing, this is one of my favorite movies of the year, simply because it’s so well made. Seeing Damon and Bale in the trailers sold me on this movie, and they didn’t disappoint in the film itself.

I thought that Bale was particularly skilled in bringing his character to life. In the film, Miles is a complex man. He has a temper when he’s on the job, and a reputation of being difficult to deal with. But he’s also a dedicated and loving father, and seeing his relationship with his son was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Miles is also a dreamer — a man who finds pure joy in driving, even if he doesn’t win the race.

Since AMC’s A-List membership comes with free upgrades, I went ahead and saw this movie in IMAX. I’d say it’s definitely worth splurging and spending a little extra money to see this movie on the biggest screen possible. There were many scenes on the racetrack where I felt as though I were right inside the car with the characters.

While the plot of this movie centers on a company’s quest to win a prestigious race, in the end it really isn’t about the whole “Ford v Ferrari” rivalry. It’s about the friendship between two men — Shelby and Miles — and how much they love designing and racing cars. The film is packed with emotional moments, and I hope it’s recognized come Oscar season.

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