The moment I saw Caitriona Balfe's dreamy silhouette against Christian Bale's garage door, I knew this was going to be a great movie.
Caitriona Balfe. Christian Bale. C.B. C.B. What can be more natural. What's not immediately natural is how they made a fine movie about cars, dreams, visions, races, and endless shots of greasy men tinkering under the hoods of cars.
On to peripherals, but first the title. Ford v. Ferrari. You'd expect that with a braintrust that include the director James Mangold (Logan, Girl Interrupted, Cop Land) and the writers Butterworth (Black Mass, Spectre, Edge of Tomorrow), they would have thought up a less prosaic title. Maybe they should have imaginatively thought up a title that would rev you up and make blood rush to your head. Say, like, Batman v. Superman. See?
Marco Beltrami. The first name I look for in a movie - the soundtrack author. Beltrami - World War Z, Terminator 3, Red Eye, Snowpiercer, The Shallows..he of the rum-dum-dum school of film music. But the score works. It thuds. It evokes, It tears you up. It pulsates. Gotta look for that music.Good thing they did not get Hans Zimmer for this. His music thundered across another racing movie I love - Rush.
Jon Bernthal, as Lee Iacocca, the baddie who nearly raped good old Emily Blunt in Sicario, who was the manic tank gunner in Brad Pitt's Fury, is now here the visionary who is rightly considered the guy who put the idea of Le Mans into poor Henry Ford's head. Strong and understated expressions as a pup would say, and now that I think of it, the pup may be correct. But he is the visionary through and through, and for once he appears decent and cleancut and gets to wear nice suits unlike his other characters. Did I hear Walking Dead, too? A pup just yapped.
Mangold. Too bad I missed Logan. But I did see 3:10 To Yuma, that mid-aughts Russell Crowe cowboy shoot-em-up. I remember being impressed there. And what was so long long ago a film that proved that Stallone was more than just muscle - yes, Mangold directed him in Cop Land and people sat up and took notice. I mean, people then can't figure out what he was in that movie, the film being several studios away from his blood and guts action fests. But they saw another dimension of the actor, which I think exonerated Sylvester and gave him due respect. Nobody could have casted Stallone in that kind of a slow, slow film.
Christian Bale. What else could be said. The pup would die if he stopped acting. Like Daniel Day-Lewis, see. He should get nominated here. And he should win. The way he received the news that he was not coming to France - that was something any actor would blow up, but with Christian - wordless, you can fathom his grief in his expression, and the way he coolly stepped aside his disappointment by talking car at once while slowly standing up and leaving the office. Like when he was not proclaimed the rightful winner of that classic LeMans race, he just uttered to Matt Damon:
"It's okay. You promised me to drive, not to win."
There are only two truths to Ford v Ferrari. First you will enjoy the movie. Second, you would want to drive fast upon leaving the theater, in a manual transmission, with your left and right foot on the pedals, doing their dance to the music and beauty of the film.
Oops did I forget Matt Damon, He was also actually in the film.
Edited by bods1000, 15 November 2019 - 10:32 PM.