Being of the “don’t give money to people what hates ya” variety, I don’t watch many films these days. Being not very good at it, I watch a few, and those only after advisement from people I trust. The good guys over at Geek Gab told me Ford v. Ferrari was a solid actioner.
What they didn’t tell me is that it is a high-test film about male friendship on par with Master and Commander, and a film about fatherhood that does Big Fish one better. It’s a basic sports movie with the usual internal and external struggles of the driver and coach. It’s a basic underdog sports story with the plucky little…checks notes…Ford Motor Company going up against the Ferrari juggernaut at the 24-hour Le Mans grand prix. It’s a solid action film with three or four set pieces that climax in…
Well, hold on. It turns out all that stuff is just set dressing for the story of two friend who have to navigate a lot of rocky relationships as they pursue a shared passion in cars and racing and finding that perfect moment of time when you achieve greatness. It’s a reflective journey back to a California dream – before the State turned into a nightmare. It’s a meditation on trust and hard work and teamwork and riding the line between bravery and foolhardiness.
The strong female character we come to know isn’t the creation of a dull-witted catlady who thinks the best women are those that ape the worst men. She has moments of greatness, in which she – just like her son and her husband’s friend and coach – make demands of her husband not for her sake, but for his. It is incredible to see a healthy marriage on screen portrayed in such a manner. Simply a wonder to behold.
There’s so much to this film, it has stuck with me for days. My mind keeps drifting back to it, chewing on it, and allowing its messages to seep into my own life.
I want – and I never say this these days – I want to watch it again.
It is that good.
Go watch it, and prepare for a slow burn punctuated by moments of genuine joy and celebration of life and achievement and family.
More like this, please.
My latest novel is up for pre-order