Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.
On the docket today, the battle between two powerhouse car companies, Ford v Ferrari.
Plot: American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
The last time we had Mangold behind the directors chair, he gave us one of the best comic book movies of all-time (Logan). So his follow-up was easily one of my most anticipated films of the year.
Mangold truly directed an amazing theatrical experience.
His ability to make every race you witnessed matter was masterful. The movie is about the race, so instead of losing sight of that, he made each race matter and meaningful. He left you on the edge of your seat at every turn which is not easy to do.
He never once lost sight on what this film was about and that’s what made it so good.
The adrenaline rush:
Several times in this movie I felt like I was in this film and I would be remiss to not speak about them.
The excitement I had on my insides as Mills passes the finish line at Daytona is why I love movies. My entire insides just beamed of extreme joy as he won.
The scene between Shelby/Ford II in which Shelby is convincing him to let Mills be the driver at LeMans. (more on that below in my favorite scene)
The Acting: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe
Bale was incredible but this was the Matt Damon show. This was hands down his best performance of his career. He was truly remarkable in this movie.
He was Carol Shelby. As Shelby grew in the film, you watched Damon grow as well. He basically went from the star quarterback of this film to the backup helping develop a new star. The way he was able to face every obstacle in his path and not just overcome them but help others along the way. He stood for something and that something propelled this movie on so many levels.
I would be dumb not to mentioned Caitriona Balfe. She gave one of my favorite supporting performances of the year. She was the heart of Mollie Miles and it showed on several occasions. She never wanted Ken to give up on his dreams but at the same time wanted what was best for their family. The way she stood tall at the end of the film and was a force within building this car, set her apart and she could sneak into what is a very weak Supporting Actress field. Without her, I don’t think this film works the way it did.
Favorite Scene: It was the scene where Shelby was trying to convince Henry Ford to pick Miles as his driver at LeMans. This scene to me was so powerful. It told the story of a son who inherited his dad’s fortune missing his dad and wishing he had moments like he just had with Shelby with his dad. Tracy Letts ripped your heart out in this scene.
Oscar Predictions: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Sound Editing.
From the opening race to the final lap, this movie is one of the years best.
Every single person on this film deserves a standing ovation. From the directing to the acting to the editing to the sound editing.
Mangold is a genius. The way he was able to make every frame matter, to get the most out of not just the two big actors but the other important principles within the film as well. He was able to develop and make you care about so many characters within a small amount of time frame, it was magical.
Everything about this film worked and I can’t wait to see it again.
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