Movies based on historical events are tough to perfect. Balancing the real story while still entertaining with gripping suspense is a tall order. In this respect, “Ford V Ferrari” nails the historical drama, making it a mostly accurate yet compelling movie.
“Ford V Ferrari” tells the tale of the Ford motor company’s quest to win the 24 hours of Le Mans with the newly constructed GT40 in order to embarrass Ferrari. When car designer Carrol Shelby (Matt Damon) wants British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) behind the wheel, tension brews between Shelby and Ford’s senior executive, Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas).
What makes “Ford V Ferrari” work as a movie is the sympathy it evokes for the main characters. Due to the performances of Bale and Damon, these characters feel like real people. Miles’ wife (Caitriona Balfe) and son (Noah Jupe), add to that level of sympathy. Conversely, the Ford executives are perfect antagonists for Shelby and Miles, with Lucas’s Beebe and Tracy Letts as Henry Ford II providing great foils for the racing team without seeming inauthentic.
While the movie does embellish the story to make a better movie, it does a great job of keeping the elements that matter accurate. The way they portray racing at that time, including the brutality it was, is perfectly replicated. Even the final moment is historically accurate, despite how unbelievable it was.
For those on the fence on whether to see “Ford V Ferrari,” go see it.