HOLLYWOOD─I was quite excited to see the movie “Ford v Ferrari” and it’s not because I’m a fan of cars or racing. It’s because two of Hollywood’s underrated actors were co-starring in a movie together. Academy Award winner Christian Bale has proved his acting capabilities more times than I can count. The guy was fantastic in “The Fighter” and the fact that he lost the Oscar last year for his exceptional performance as Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice” still baffles me.
Damon, I still cannot understand why the guy is constantly overlooked for his performances. I mean hello, he was fantastic in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and I loved his performances in “The Bourne” franchise not to mention, “The Martian.” With that said, Bale and Damon team up for this real-life tale about Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British Driver Ken Miles (Bale), who work together to build the Ford GT40 in hopes of finally defeating the Ferrari racing team during the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Bale, who is British nails the accent and delivers yet again a captivating and amazing performance as Miles. This guy’s ability to completely immerse himself into whatever character he portrays on the screen continues to amaze me. Yes, the performance by Bale is Oscar-caliber and worth pointing out. Will he earn the nomination; I’m not 100 percent certain with the level of competition this season.
The counterpart to Miles, a hothead mechanic who is not afraid to speak his truth, is Shelby who is calm, collective, yet will deliver a stern warning whenever needed to get accomplished what needs to be done. I loved the inner workings of the movie’s narrative to give a slice of the auto industry to those not familiar with how a car is made and the business aspect of running a major company like Ford Motor Co. It might also be dear to my heart because I hail for the state of Michigan where everyone knows how pivotal the Ford family is to multiple businesses and companies still present in the state today.
Damon is Miles’ counterpart; and it takes a certain caliber of an actor to capture that essence that just works with Bale’s character. The chemistry between Bale and Damon screams on the screen, but the narrative is not as exciting as one hopes it to be. I have to admit there are moments in “Ford v Ferrari” where I was bored as a viewer. I have to admit I actually fell asleep, but was reignited by the racing elements of the movie. There is nothing like a fast car to rev the viewer back into the action. The cast here is impressive, not only do we have Damon and Bale, but supporting roles by Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, Tracy Letts and Josh Lucas.
The one theme that is ever-present throughout the movie is the friendship that develops between Shelby and Miles. It’s impressive, fun and charming and shows these two gentlemen had a tremendous level of respect and loyalty to one another. So much to the point that Shelby wagered his own company to prove that Miles was the driver needed by the Ford Company to ensure victory against Enzo Ferrari.
“Ford v Ferrari” is a movie where the acting outshines the film itself. This is not by any testament a bad movie, but not as exciting as one hopes, but it will entertain even the tiniest car enthusiast and for that alone, it wins major points with me.