Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Movie


Ford v Ferrari (2019)

As Enzo Ferrari's fast Rosso-Corsa racing cars dominate the mid-1960s motorsport world, the American car designer, Carroll Shelby, is forced to retire after winning the demanding 1959 '24 Hours of Le Mans' endurance race. But, before long, an unexpected proposition by the Vice President of Henry Ford's motor company, Lee Iacocca, will offer an opportunity to beat the Italians at their own game. Now, under those pressing circumstances, the British sports car driver and racing engineer, Ken Miles, reluctantly agrees to lend a hand and improve the firm's image, as Ford's race team has less than ninety days to rewrite history. As a result, the non-conformist duo comes up with the mighty Ford GT40 Mk I high-performance racing car. Can Shelby and Miles break Ferrari's streak?
USA
IMDb   8.1 /10
Metacritic   81 %
TheMovieDb    8.0 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   7.1 /10
Information
Release Date2019-11-13
Runtime2h 32mins
GenreAction, Biography, Drama, Sport
Content RatingPG-13 (PG-13)
AwardsTop Rated Movies #200 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 87 nominations.
CompanyChernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Turnpike Films
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish, Italian, French, Japanese
Carroll Shelby
Lee Iacocca
Peter Miles
Henry Ford II
Enzo Ferrari
Phil Remington
Charlie Agapiou
Ford Executive - Ian

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans '66 in some European countries) is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by James Mangold and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller. The film stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, with Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon in supporting roles.

The plot follows a determined team of American and British engineers and designers, led by automotive designer Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Italian racing team Scuderia Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

Ford v Ferrari had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 15, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through its division 20th Century Fox. The film grossed $225 million worldwide and received acclaim from critics, who lauded the performances (particularly Bale and Damon), Mangold's direction, the editing, and the racing sequences. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year, and at the 92nd Academy Awards received four nominations, including Best Picture, and won Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. It was the last film to win the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing before the award was combined with Best Sound Mixing as a single award for Best Sound. Bale also received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.


Plot

In 1963, Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca proposes to Henry Ford II to purchase the Italian cash-strapped Ferrari as a means to boost their car sales by participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Enzo Ferrari however, uses Ford's offer to secure a more lucrative deal with Fiat that allows him to retain complete ownership of Scuderia Ferrari. In rejecting the proposed deal with Ford, Ferrari also intentionally insults both Ford Motor and Henry Ford II. In response, a furious Ford orders his racing division to build a car to defeat Ferrari at Le Mans. For this task, Iacocca hires Shelby American owner Carroll Shelby, a former driver who won Le Mans in 1959 but was forced to retire due to a heart condition. In turn, Shelby enlists the help of his friend Ken Miles, a hot-tempered British racer and struggling mechanic.

Shelby and Miles test the Ford GT40 Mk I prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, working out all of its design flaws until it is race-ready. Thinking that Miles is not their ideal driver, Ford opts to send Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren to the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans instead. As predicted by Miles, none of the Fords finish the race. While Ford sees this as a humiliating defeat, Shelby explains to him that the GT40 instilled fear in Enzo Ferrari, as it reached 218 mph (350.8 km/h), on the Mulsanne Straight before it broke down. Shelby and Miles continue development on the GT40 Mk II, but Miles is nearly killed when the car has brake fade during testing. In 1966, Ford Senior Vice President Leo Beebe takes over the racing division, with the intent to continue the program without Miles, but Shelby gives Ford a ride in the car and wagers his own company to convince Ford to agree that if Miles wins the 24 Hours of Daytona, he will be allowed to race at Le Mans.

Shelby American enters Daytona, but Beebe has a second Ford entered with NASCAR team Holman-Moody supporting it. While the Holman-Moody team has quicker pit stops, Shelby clears Miles to push his car beyond the 7,000 RPM tachometer redline, and he wins the race.

At the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, Miles struggles with a faulty door during the first lap, but after team engineer Phil Remington fixes it with a mallet, Miles begins to set lap records while catching up to the Ferraris. While racing with Ferrari driver Lorenzo Bandini – piloting Ferrari's new prototype 330 P3 – Miles experiences brake failure and has his brake system replaced during his pit stop. Enzo Ferrari protests the move, but Shelby convinces race officials that the replacement is legal. Miles and Bandini once again duel on the Mulsanne Straight until Bandini blows his engine, eliminating the Ferrari from the race. With three Ford teams in the top positions, Beebe orders Shelby to have Miles slow down for the other two Fords to catch up with him and provide the press with a three-car photo finish. Miles is initially against this decision, continuing to set new lap records near the end of the race, but decides to let Ford have their way on the final lap. Ultimately, McLaren is declared the winner on a technicality, with Miles placing 2nd and Chris Amon 3rd, but Miles is grateful to Shelby for allowing him to race at Le Mans.

Two months after Le Mans, while testing the J-car at Riverside International Raceway, Miles once again experiences brake failure and is killed in the resulting crash. Six months later, Shelby pays Miles' widow Mollie and son Peter a visit and gives Peter a wrench that Miles threw at him before winning an SCCA race at Willow Springs in 1963.

A textual epilogue reveals that Ford continued its winning streak at Le Mans in 1967, 1968, and 1969 while Miles was posthumously inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.


Cast

  • Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby, American former race car driver, automotive designer, and builder
  • Christian Bale as Ken Miles, British World War II veteran and professional race car driver
  • Jon Bernthal as Lee Iacocca, vice president of Ford
  • Caitriona Balfe as Mollie Miles, Miles' wife
  • Tracy Letts as Henry Ford II, the CEO of Ford and grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford
  • Josh Lucas as Leo Beebe, senior executive vice president of Ford
  • Noah Jupe as Peter Miles, Miles's son
  • Remo Girone as Enzo Ferrari, founder of Ferrari and its automobile racing team Scuderia Ferrari.
  • Ray McKinnon as Phil Remington
  • JJ Feild as Roy Lunn, a Ford engineer involved in the GT40 program
  • Jack McMullen as Charlie Agapiou
  • Brent Pontin as Chris Amon, New Zealand racer who drives the gold #5 Ford GT40 and is Ken Miles' teammate
  • Benjamin Rigby as Bruce McLaren, New Zealand racer who drives the black #2 Ford GT40, and is Ken Miles' teammate who wins Le Mans since he started on the back
  • Francesco Bauco as Lorenzo Bandini, Italian racer who drives the Ferrari 330 P3 for Le Mans, and is Ken Miles rival
  • Corrado Invernizzi as Franco Gozzi, Enzo Ferrari's right-hand man
  • Joe Williamson as Donald N. Frey, Chief Engineer of Ford
  • Ian Harding as Ford Executive - Ian
  • Christopher Darga as John Holman
  • Jonathan LaPaglia as Eddie

Production

A film based on the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari for the dominance at the Le Mans endurance race had long been in works at 20th Century Fox. Initially, it was going to star Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt from an original screenplay titled Go Like Hell, by Jason Keller, the name being taken from the book, Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans by A.J. Baime. The project fell apart, however, after writers Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth drafted a script and Joseph Kosinski was brought on to direct, due to the budget being too high.

On February 5, 2018, it was announced that James Mangold had been brought on board to direct the film based on the previous script by Keller and the Butterworths. Later, Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, and Noah Jupe joined the cast alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon in the lead roles. In July 2018, Jack McMullen was cast in the film to play one of Miles's key British mechanics, and Tracy Letts also joined to play Henry Ford II, along with Joe Williamson. In August 2018, JJ Feild was cast in the film to play the automotive engineer Roy Lunn, the head of Ford Advanced vehicles in England and the right-hand man to Henry Ford II. Composer Marco Beltrami confirmed in an interview that he would be scoring the film, Beltrami having previously worked with Mangold on 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine and Logan.

Filming began on July 30, 2018, and lasted for 67 days, taking place in California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta; Savannah; and Statesboro, Georgia, as well as Le Mans, France. Race scenes that appear in the film as Daytona were filmed at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana; many other race scenes were filmed at a Honda test track (doubling for the Willow Springs Raceway) in Mojave Valley and at the Porsche Experience (for the Dearborn test track) in Carson. A few scenes were filmed at tracks in Georgia. The Le Mans grandstands, pits, and garages were replicated at the Agua Dulce Airpark in Agua Dulce. The hangar area where the cars were developed (originally at LAX) was filmed at Ontario International Airport in Ontario.


Release

Ford v Ferrari premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019, and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2019. It was subsequently released in the United States on November 15 by 20th Century Fox in 2D, IMAX, and Dolby Cinema formats. It was previously scheduled to be released on June 28.

The first trailer for the film debuted on June 2, 2019, during Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Home media

The film was released on digital format by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on January 28, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD on February 11, 2020.


Reception

Box office

Ford v Ferrari grossed $117.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $107.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $225.5 million.

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Charlie's Angels and The Good Liar, and was projected to gross $23–30 million from 3,528 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $10.9 million on its first day, including $2.1 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $31.5 million, topping the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 50% to $15.7 million, finishing second behind newcomer Frozen II, and then made $13.2 million in its third weekend (including $19 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame), finishing third. It continued to hold well in the following weeks, making $6.7 million and $4.1 million in its fourth and fifth weekends.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 346 reviews, with an average rating of 7.80/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect – and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare grade of "A+," while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 87% (with an average 4.5 out of 5 stars), with 68% saying they would definitely recommend it.

Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle gave the film a 4 out of 4 stars, saying that it "is what it promises to be, a blast from the past" and writing: "Ford v Ferrari could have just been a sports story, dramatizing an interesting chapter in racing, and it would have been fine. But in showing Ford and his minions' constant interference in the dedicated work of Miles and Shelby, this James Mangold film becomes a tale of souls battling the soulless." Eric Kohn of Indiewire gave the film a "B", saying that "Ford v Ferrari excels at evoking the sheer thrill of the race—'a body moving through space and time', as one character says—and it's compelling enough in those moments to make the case that nothing beats the thrill of competition." Variety's Peter DeBruge praised the racing sequences and the performances of Bale and Damon, writing: "The best sports movies aren't so much about the sport as they are the personalities, and these two go big with their performances."


Accolades

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipientsResultRef.
AACTA AwardsJanuary 3, 2020Best International ActorChristian BaleNominated
AARP's Movies for Grownups AwardsJanuary 19, 2020Best Buddy PictureFord v FerrariNominated
Academy AwardsFebruary 9, 2020Best PicturePeter Chernin, Jenno Topping, James MangoldNominated
Best Film EditingMichael McCusker, Andrew BucklandWon
Best Sound EditingDonald SylvesterWon
Best Sound MixingPaul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. MorrowNominated
ACE Eddie AwardsJanuary 17, 2019Best Edited Feature Film (Drama)Andrew Buckland and Michael McCuskerNominated
Art Directors Guild AwardsFebruary 1, 2020Excellence in Production Design (Period Film)François AudouyNominated
American Society of CinematographersJanuary 25, 2019Best Cinematography (Theatrical)Phedon PapamichaelNominated
British Academy Film AwardsFebruary 2, 2020Best CinematographyPhedon PapamichaelNominated
Best EditingMichael McCusker and Andrew BucklandWon
Best SoundDavid Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow and Donald SylvesterNominated
Cinema Audio Society AwardsJanuary 25, 2020Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live ActionFord v FerrariWon
Critics' Choice Movie AwardsJanuary 12, 2020Best PictureNominated
Best Action MovieNominated
Best Visual EffectsNominated
Best EditingAndrew Buckland and Michael McCuskerNominated
Best CinematographyPhedon PapamichaelNominated
CamerimageNovember 16, 2019Golden FrogPhedon Papamichael (cinematographer), James Mangold (director)Nominated
Golden Globe AwardsJanuary 5, 2020Best Actor – Motion Picture DramaChristian BaleNominated
Golden Reel AwardsJanuary 19, 2020Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Dialogue and ADRDonald Sylvester and Polly McKinnonNominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Effects and FoleyDonald Sylvester, Jay Wilkenson, David Giammarco, Eric Norris and Anna MacKenzieWon
Hollywood Critics Association AwardsJanuary 9, 2020Best EditingMichael McCuskerNominated
Hollywood Film AwardsNovember 3, 2019Hollywood Director AwardJames MangoldWon
Hollywood Editor AwardMichael McCusker and Andrew BucklandWon
Hollywood Sound AwardDonald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. MorrowWon
Hollywood Music in Media AwardsNovember 19, 2019Original Score – Feature FilmMarco Beltrami and Buck Sanders (tied with Hildur Guðnadóttir for Joker)Won
Movieguide AwardsJanuary 24, 2020Best Movie for Mature AudiencesFord v FerrariNominated
Producers Guild of America AwardJanuary 18, 2020Best Theatrical Motion PicturePeter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James MangoldNominated
San Diego Film Critics SocietyDecember 9, 2019Best ActorChristian BaleNominated
Best EditingAndrew Buckland and Michael McCuskerWon
Best CinematographyPhedon PapamichaelNominated
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics CircleDecember 16, 2019Best EditingAndrew Buckland and Michael McCuskerWon
Satellite AwardsDecember 19, 2019Best Motion Picture – DramaFord v FerrariWon
Best DirectorJames MangoldWon
Best Actor – Motion Picture DramaChristian BaleWon
Best Original ScreenplayJez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason KellerNominated
Best Original ScoreMarco Beltrami and Buck SandersNominated
Best CinematographyPhedon PapamichaelNominated
Best Visual EffectsOlivier Dumont, Mark Byers and Kathy SegalNominated
Best EditingMichael McCusker and Andrew BucklandWon
Best SoundDonald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. MorrowWon
Best Art Direction and Production DesignFrançois Audouy and Peter LandoNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardJanuary 19, 2020Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading RoleChristian BaleNominated
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion PictureFord v FerrariNominated
Seattle Film Critics SocietyDecember 16, 2019Best Picture of the YearNominated
Best action choreographyNominated
Visual Effects Society AwardsJanuary 29, 2020Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal FeatureOlivier Dumont, Kathy Siegel, Dave Morley, Malte Sarnes, Mark ByersNominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics AssociationDecember 8, 2019Best EditingAndrew Buckland and Michael McCuskerWon