On the surface, James Mangold's FORD V FERRARI is a sports drama that chronicles how Ford beat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans endurance race. There's plenty of exciting story there: Ferrari dominated the competition in the years prior, and production of the revolutionary Ford GT40 was not without obstacles, both logistically and bureaucratically.
But the true driving force behind the film is the relationships behind the scenes, particularly the partnership between the two leads, Matt Damon's Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale's Ken Miles. Shelby was a Le Mans-winning driver turned visionary car designer, who recruits the talented but tempestuous racer Miles to help him take on Ferrari.
The pair are vastly different in terms of personality, which causes them to butt heads (literally, at least in the movie). But they share the same deep understanding of and connection to cars — even mild-mannered Shelby loses his cool when the big whigs at Ford try to stifle his ingenuity — and their mutual passion bonds them and keeps them focused on the goal.
However, theirs isn't the only relationship that grounds the story of FORD V FERRARI. The film also shows the relationship between Miles and his family, wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) and son Peter (Noah Jupe). In one touching scene, Miles sits with Peter on the race track and talks him through every turn, every challenge he'll face, and how he'll overcome them.
"I felt like we needed a map — we needed a scene where someone just said to us what we’re about to enter," director James Mangold told us. "First of all, it kind of builds up the excitement about it and makes clear it’s not just an oval, that there’s so much consideration about every turn coming up." Hear more in our exclusive interview below.
FORD V FERRARI is undoubtedly a character-driven film, so much so that even the cars are personified. "You want to know what they’re doing," Mangold said. "You want to know what they’re struggling against. You want to know all the things we know when it’s people’s bodies — you know, some are faster in the acceleration but can’t handle turns; some can handle turns, but once they fall too far behind, don’t have the guts to catch up. These are the things that make you aware of the cars as characters. That’s what we really focused on trying to do." Check out more of the details in the interview clip below.
Of course, there's also a lot of action in FORD V FERRARI and wow-worthy racing scenes to rev up your excitement, so don't wait to reserve your seats. Get your tickets to FORD V FERRARI at your local AMC today.