|Ford v Ferrari|
|Directed by||James Mangold|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$225.5 million|
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. It is produced by Chernin Entertainment and stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, with Jon Bernthal, Caitríona 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 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. It is also the first 20th Century Fox release to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar since The Walt Disney Company acquired the assets of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019, and the last before the studio's rebranding as 20th Century Studios in 2020.
In 1963, Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca proposes to Henry Ford II to purchase the cash-strapped Italian sports and racing car manufacturer Ferrari as a means of boosting their domestic car sales through Ferrari's participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Owner Enzo Ferrari, however, uses Ford's offer to secure a more lucrative deal with Fiat that allows him to retain complete ownership of the firm's racing team, Scuderia Ferrari. In rejecting the proposed deal with Ford, Ferrari also intentionally insults Ford Motor Company, Iacocca, and Ford II. 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 design and test the UK-built Ford GT40 Mk I prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, fixing its design flaws until it is race-ready. After Miles savages the Ford Mustang at its launch, Ford Senior Vice President Leo Beebe (who was in charge of the launch) campaigns against sending Miles to the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans, believing him to be a public relations liability. Shelby relents and sends Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren to Le Mans instead. Without Miles' experience, none of the Fords finish the race.
While Ford sees this as a humiliating defeat, Shelby explains 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 experiences brake fade during testing.
In 1966, Beebe takes over the racing division, with the intent to continue the Le Mans program without Miles, but Shelby gives Ford a ride in the GT40 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 again experiences brake fade. After Miles limps the GT40 into the pits, the crew replaces the entire braking system, using technology Remington created after Miles' previous crash. Ferrari protest 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 second and Ronnie Bucknum in third. An enraged Shelby confronts Beebe, accusing him of deliberately costing Miles the win, but an unusually sanguine Miles lets it pass, noting that Shelby promised him "the drive, not the win". A defeated Enzo Ferrari tips his hat to Miles as an acknowledgement of his drive. Miles and Shelby walk off together, with Miles telling Shelby that they'll win Le Mans "next time".
Two months after Le Mans, during testing at Riverside International Raceway, Miles experiences a mechanical failure in the J-car 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.
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, Caitríona 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 and roadways in Georgia such as Hwy 46 in Statesboro, 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.
Main article: Ford v Ferrari (soundtrack)
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.
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.
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.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 353 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. 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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result||Ref.|
|AACTA Awards||January 3, 2020||Best International Actor||Christian Bale||Nominated|||
|AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards||January 19, 2020||Best Buddy Picture||Ford v Ferrari||Nominated|||
|Academy Awards||February 9, 2020||Best Picture||Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, James Mangold||Nominated|||
|Best Film Editing||Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland||Won|
|Best Sound Editing||Donald Sylvester||Won|
|Best Sound Mixing||Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow||Nominated|
|ACE Eddie Awards||January 17, 2019||Best Edited Feature Film (Drama)||Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||February 1, 2020||Excellence in Production Design (Period Film)||François Audouy||Nominated|||
|American Society of Cinematographers||January 25, 2019||Best Cinematography (Theatrical)||Phedon Papamichael||Nominated|||
|British Academy Film Awards||February 2, 2020||Best Cinematography||Phedon Papamichael||Nominated|||
|Best Editing||Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland||Won|
|Best Sound||David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow and Donald Sylvester||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||January 25, 2020||Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action||Ford v Ferrari||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||January 12, 2020||Best Picture||Nominated|||
|Best Action Movie||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Phedon Papamichael||Nominated|
|Camerimage||November 16, 2019||Golden Frog||Phedon Papamichael (cinematographer), James Mangold (director)||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||January 5, 2020||Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Christian Bale||Nominated|||
|Golden Reel Awards||January 19, 2020||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Dialogue and ADR||Donald Sylvester and Polly McKinnon||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Effects and Foley||Donald Sylvester, Jay Wilkenson, David Giammarco, Eric Norris and Anna MacKenzie||Won|
|Hollywood Critics Association Awards||January 9, 2020||Best Editing||Michael McCusker||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Film Awards||November 3, 2019||Hollywood Director Award||James Mangold||Won|||
|Hollywood Editor Award||Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland||Won|
|Hollywood Sound Award||Donald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow||Won|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 19, 2019||Original Score – Feature Film||Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders (tied with Hildur Guðnadóttir for Joker)||Won|||
|Movieguide Awards||January 24, 2020||Best Movie for Mature Audiences||Ford v Ferrari||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Award||January 18, 2020||Best Theatrical Motion Picture||Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society||December 9, 2019||Best Actor||Christian Bale||Nominated|||
|Best Editing||Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Phedon Papamichael||Nominated|
|San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle||December 16, 2019||Best Editing||Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||December 19, 2019||Best Motion Picture – Drama||Ford v Ferrari||Won|||
|Best Director||James Mangold||Won|
|Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Christian Bale||Won|
|Best Original Screenplay||Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Phedon Papamichael||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Olivier Dumont, Mark Byers and Kathy Segal||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland||Won|
|Best Sound||Donald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow||Won|
|Best Art Direction and Production Design||François Audouy and Peter Lando||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Award||January 19, 2020||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role||Christian Bale||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture||Ford v Ferrari||Nominated|
|Seattle Film Critics Society||December 16, 2019||Best Picture of the Year||Nominated|||
|Best action choreography||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||January 29, 2020||Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature||Olivier Dumont, Kathy Siegel, Dave Morley, Malte Sarnes, Mark Byers||Nominated|||
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||December 8, 2019||Best Editing||Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker||Won|||