Ford V Ferrari/ La Mans 66. Review.

Christian Bale and Matt Damon star in this very solid dramatization of the relationship between Ken miles and Carroll Shelby and their role in helping Ford beat Ferrari at Le Mans 66. Very well acted the film remained engaging throughout despite the two-and-a-half hour running time. It’s helped along buy some superb driving and racing sequences with excellent sound design and an aggressive audio mix giving the film a real sense of authenticity and a good grasp of the danger involved in motor racing during this period. Jon Bernthal is also excellent in a supporting role as Fords main marketing man. As much as I think the film is very easily recommendable and is is I think will do a good job of maintaining director James Mangold’s momentum after he created one of the most definitive superhero films of recent years with Logan a formula quickly becomes obvious in terms of the film structure. There will be a sequence with some executives in the boardroom discussing the challenges of trying to best Ferrari or the challenges with maintaining their car, a sequence dealing with Ken Miles personal life (Shelby gets surprisingly little in this regard) and then there will be an extended driving/ test sequence that deserves to be seen on the best sound system possible (I saw it in a theatre with very loud 5.1 audio which was ideal.) Rinse and repeat for two-and-a-half hours. Match as I think the films mostly very good I’ve seen it pop up on best of the year lists and it’s apparently getting a big Oscar push. Outside of Bales performance I don’t think the film is especially Oscar worthy and the formula is obvious if you are looking for it. Given last year’s Oscar race I’d put money on this kind of safe mostly unchanging fair being an Oscar front runner. That said it says more about the Academy then it does this film.
8/10

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