Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari ★★★½

Ford V Ferrari, writer-director James Mangold's latest, is last Best Picture nominee that I have seen and, while it is thoroughly entertaining in some parts, it is highly Best Picture material (whatever that means). But perhaps the most thrilling thing is to see Oscar winners Christian Bale and Matt Damon team up, playing two seemingly opposite characters whose scenes are among the best in the movie. Mangold stages the car racing scenes immensely well, and the editing and sound are simply magnificent and immersive. Even though the 24-hour Le Mans race is long, it never ceases to be exhilarating. Yet, in the more intimate scenes, the film struggles to be as emotionally resonant and poignant as it wants to be. Noah Jupe and Caitrona Balfe do their best in near-thankless parts as Bale's character's wife and son. And Tracy Letts, in heavy makeup and prosthetics, has a grand ole time playing a crotchety Henry Ford II. But Bale and Damon are the ones who carry the film, and the A-list movie stars are move than up to the challenge.