Bless Bale and Damon and Balfe and Ford and Ferrari. So rare when everything, everyone, cries for one lap. One perfect lap.
The director James Mangold is deservedly and in my case surprisingly in the lead in the Oscar race for the Best Direction trophy. And I am including the best of this year’s most controlled films. There are many indie films that packs a linear, safer and comforting punch than this at-times-commercial-yet-fully-artsy drama. I have never seen him so confident and empowering on screen. And not to forget his large chunk of the film spends time on the road, in the run, at the face of Bale’s snide-y looks that resembles to me with that mysterious Alfred Borden way of scanning out from The Prestige.
With a whoosh the film goes by like the Ferrari(!) and speaks mostly, structure wise, a pretty standard tale. Not at all biography but sports alike, the film feels. You are aware of where and how things would go and yet Mangold insists to you to experience these moments with this incredibly rich cast. Those tiny moments where it flowers you with flood of imaginative thoughts and ideas that scares and educates you, is the best asset of the film.
The nuanced performance then and then only emerges up, visible to the naked eye, teary eye by then. The helps that Matt Damon provides, the rejoicing moment between a husband and a wife after landing a well paid job and Christian Bale’s performance staged, framed, mostly around his face, are the moments where you go through a religious experience of discovering cinema in a nail-biting match about patience. Another thing about Ford V Ferrari that caught me by surprise was how both the lead roles were actually underdog characters. That doesn’t happen everywhere. No one dares.