Wow! What a good movie. Ford v Ferrari was strong all the way through. The pacing was great and the acting fantastic throughout the entire movie. Matt Damon and Christian Bale were excellent. Even the race scenes felt realistic. It should be noted, if you aren't a big race car fan you'll still enjoy this movie.
Caitrona Balfe, as Mollie, Ken Miles' wife, was wonderful. I wasn't familiar with her before this movie, but her performance was excellent. In fact, if the movie was anything like real life—meaning if they had the sort of relationship portrayed in the movie—then they were a lucky couple. I can't say anything more about them. I don't know the real-life story.
There was a great deal of excitement around LeMans when I was young, which reminds me just how quickly and how much things have changed and shifted. Back then, the '60s and even the '70s, racing, and cars in general, were still relatively new and exciting. Reaching the limits of what would be possible was still well into the future and in some ways it was a golden era for pushing the limits beyond anything known. The now iconic Ford Mustang was just rolling off the assembly line and into showrooms in the '60s. It would change the way Americans viewed the automobile—again.
That Ford could compete with Ferrari was astounding at the time. Today that vehicle, the GT40, is an icon having won LeMans three years in a row. Having seen one in person several years ago was a revelation, especially considering it was developed in the early to mid-'60s.
Sitting in a packed theater I found it difficult to find anything I didn't like about the movie. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything not to like regarding the story—but the truth and life are like that. Corporate politics and petty egos always get in the way. That was no different at Ford than anywhere else. An interesting side note was the introduction of the Ford Mustang. History shows that Lee Iacocca was the driving force behind the Mustang. But that was completely downplayed in the movie.
What made the movie stand out, in addition to the performances, was the relationship between Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Ultimately, the movie was their story and that's why it worked so well. You don't have to be a big car fan or a race fan to enjoy it. It was nice to see the film—and the race scenes at LeMans—end as things did in life. I was glad a Hollywood ending wasn't fabricated. Ken Miles died far too young. But one thing was clear; He died doing what he loved.
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