Directed by James Mangold and starring Christian Bale, Matt Damon, and Jon Bernthal, Ford v Ferrari – despite the name – is more about the story of two friends trying to make something of their mutual passion in the face of increasing corporate intervention. Although they are often at odds, the two friends – driver, Ken Miles (Bale), and car designer, Carroll Shelby (Damon), share a passion for cars and racing.
The movie is set around the Le Mans race of 1966, where Shelby is designing a car for Ford to beat Ferrari; hiring Miles to be his star driver, despite Ford not wanting the impulsive and unpredictable Miles as their frontman. The film copped a beating from Guardian critic, Peter Bradshaw, giving it 2/5 stars.
Bradshaw gave a scathing statement in his review, saying, ‘Based on a true story, it is crammed with unearned emotional moments and factory-built male characters whose dedication to their sport we are expected to find adorable and heroic by turns. This is a standard-issue, middleweight biopic-type film, which comes complete with the now mandatory three factual sentences over the closing credits and the black-and-white photographs of the real-life people involved looking less attractive than the Hollywood stars who played them’.
This film is not just for car lovers but for anyone that loves a true story. In some countries it is even being released as Le Mans 66, which is almost equally bad. Nevertheless, the film provides some great acting by Bale, and a story that non-car- lovers might not have heard, and might even enjoy.