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Ford v Ferrari

It's getting pretty late in the year, and its safe to say that the best time at the movies I've had in 2019 is FORD V FERRARI.

Brilliantly and entertainingly told, you dont need to be a fan of racing, fast cars or history to enjoy this incredible true story.

Matt Damon is great as Carroll Shelby, an American car designer with a niche clientele and a revered past as the only American driver to win Le Mans.

When Henry Ford II (playwright/actor Terry Letts in a Best Supporting Actor worthy performance) gets fed up with his non-competitive race team and needs something bold to wipe out the disastrous taste of recent failed car launches, he hires Shelby to create a quintessential US race car.

Shelby goes directly to the best driver/mechanic/designer he knows, Ken Miles. Miles is the ultimate non-conformist, non-corporate player, driven by his own compass and brash in his opinions.

Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Vice) is fantastic as Miles. He recreates Miles and his opinionated, driven personality in such detail that you feel like you know the man and his family by the end of the fast moving, 152 minute film.

Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Baby Driver) serves up a complicated and genial Lee Iacocca, Catriona Balfe (Outlander) is Bale's match as his wife Mollie and Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) is amazing as Miles son, Peter. He brings such complexity to his performance as a son with unyielding admiration for his father that he reminded me of Bale's own debut as a child actor in Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" back in 1987.

The scenes of Miles with his son are some of the best in the film.

But the ones that you'll remember most are the racing scenes. They're fantastic. I have no idea how many were staged, how many are CGI, but they are seamless and thrilling.

I don't remember the last time I found myself leaning forward in my seat with tension, so drawn into the excitement that I was ready to jump out of my seat. Maybe "Creed" in the final fight scene? But FORD V FERRARI stages three or four of these scenes, so well edited and shot that you're practically driving.

All the action doesn't take place on the track. Watching Shelby and Miles navigate the treacherous roads of corporate investment, attempted buyouts and business politics is almost as thrilling as the high speed curves on the track.

Bale should get a Best Actor nomination as Miles, as should Damon for doing once again what he does so well. They are both flawless.

Josh Lucas (Yellowstone) is the Ford executive we'll ALL leave hating and Remo Girone (Live By Night) oozes authenticity as Enzo Ferrari.

Director James Mangold (Logan, Walk The Line) delivers on every front, it's maybe his best film and I think 'Walk the Line" is one of the best bio pics of the last 20 years.

Jez & John Henry Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Spectre) deliver a great screenplay that mines a LOT of laughter out of these characters as well. Shelby's texas wit and Miles dry English humor spar perfectly to create many laugh out loud moments.

The sixties production design and sound effects team are likely also up for Oscar nominations, the movie looks AND sounds great.

FORD V FERRARI is one of my favorite films of the year and hands down, the most pure fun I've had in a theatre all year. See this on the biggest screen with the best sound you can find.

It's a completely satisfying thrill ride that gets an A+.

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