Unlike other disciplines that cinema has never managed to convey its epic sports, motor racing has had better luck in the movies. Perhaps it is because a car race at 250 kilometers per hour has the temerity, unpredictability, and suspense necessary to carry a plot by itself. And the cinema is the best way to transmit vertigo and adrenaline of taking a sharp curve with the engine required to the fullest.
Thus, there have been dozens of films, which have always been dedicated to competitive cars. Many of them have put noise from engines and greased faces to melodramas, police, and comedies or have simply concentrated on documenting events. A subgenre of car racing movies may be the Fast and Furious franchise that is one of the most popular in history.
The premiere this week of Ford v. Ferrari recovers that tradition of speed cinema on the track, a genre that in 2013 premiered one of its greatest examples, Rush: Passion and Glory over the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in Formula 1 of the 1970s. It was directed by Ron Howard and he fulfilled what was promised in the case is to film the racing scenes with originality and stylized realism.
Ford v. Ferrari also fulfills, perhaps because the director is James Mangold, who started as an independent option for industrial products (his first film was Police Land with Sylvester Stallone, 1997) and maintained that profile that gave him a personality patina to films like Johnny & June: Passion and madness and, mainly, Logan where he used a mutant tone and melancholy of classic cinema and a franchise like Wolverine. As in his films of the heap (Identity, Explosive Encounter), a careful staging fails to camouflage certain lightnesses of the script.
Ford v. Ferrari is based on a true story explicit in its title: Ford v Ferrari and Le Mans 66. That is the fight between an American automotive industrial company and an Italian automotive craft company that was settled in the legendary one-day French race. Watch now the movie to see how this drama ends.
In the mid-1960s, as a way to modernize the then Ford Company manager, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal), convinces Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) to get into car competitions, mainly in Europe. At first reticent, after a move by Enzo Ferrari, he decides to win on a field in which the Italian seems unbeatable: the 24 hours of Le Mans.
To achieve that goal he hires Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), the only American driver to win the demanding race, now becoming a car designer. With him comes Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who has a reputation (justified) as unpredictable but who runs like no one else. The film needs two and a half hours to reach its destination and in the middle are all the betrayals, disappointments and triumphs of two stereotypically classic characters.
Already from its title, it is clear that it is a film of dualities and clashes. Between the two companies, between their two owners, between Europe and the United States, between art (driving 320 kilometers per hour or designing the car that gets it) and trade. Also between two ways of acting: Damon is perfect for his classic role as a stunner who can be rebellious and does it with his usual subtleties, while Bale is a display of gestures, tics and vocal records that sometimes seem a bit excessive, watch online the movie to see the personalities of these great actors in action.
The most important moment, of course, is the career of Le Mans and Mangold, the show with the necessary deployment of suspense and action and making clear the courage of those old pilots moving from the general plane to the subjective chamber: it complies with the entire gender protocol.