Friday, June 5, 2020

Ford v Ferrari

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am about to make a proclamation: Ford v Ferrari is the second best movie about car racing ever (the best is, of course, 1966's Grand Prix).

Ford v Ferrari puts you in the driver's seat of powerful, fast, and ultimately deadly cars. I regret now not seeing it in the theater because I'm sure on the large screen with a movie theater's sound it would have blown me away. On my television screen with my 5.1 surround sound, it blew me away.

I don't know how historically accurate the film is. Part of the story I already knew about how Ford wanted to beat Ferrari at the 24 hour race at Le Mans in France. They didn't do it the first time in 1965, but they did in 1966. The car they used was the Ford GT40 (the modern Ford GT is a tribute to that car).

The drama in the movie comes from trying to build a car to win at Le Mans and the corporate interference of FoMoCo. The last half hour of the film is pretty much the 1966 race at Le Mans. Somehow with sound and visuals, the director puts you in the car feeling all the tension, noise, speed, danger, and exhilaration of racing.

My only beef with the film is that there are lots of scenes of feet on car pedals (brake, gas, clutch) during shifts but never is there a heel and toe downshift (see the first moments of Grand Prix to know what that is) even during the downshifts.

And the movie isn't only about cars, It's about the personalities of Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles (played to perfection by Christian Bale) and how they faced the risk-adverse corporate types at Ford.

And even today you can buy a Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500 from Ford in honor of Carroll Shelby.

I rarely give a movie five stars on Netflix. I did this one.

Note: I'm reviewing this films so late because Netflix didn't send it to me for at least 12 weeks after it came out on Blu-Ray even though it was at the top of my queue the entire time. I watched it last night.

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