3 stars (1)

After securing a best picture nomination from the Academy, fans and viewers of “Ford V Ferrari” might be taken aback from how much the Academy loved the semi-biopic sports movie about cars.

Ford V Ferrari” is about a team of American engineers who try to usurp control over racing by the perennially champion Ferrari racing team. Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale) are an American car designer and racer who are tasked with the job of designing and racing a car that is fast enough to beat Ferrari’s team.

Rarely do sports movies ever get nominated, let alone win, the Oscar for best picture. The last semi-sports movie to even be nominated was 2010’s “The Fighter,” and 1976’s “Rocky” would be the best known sports movie to win.

That’s what makes “FvF” such an interesting Oscar contender. Unlike the other two films, which center around boxing, a sport that is easily dramatized and made into a compelling story, international racing is a trickier needle to thread.

Director James Mangold does a good job of using both Oscar winning actors to get audiences to the theater and create a film that will have them leaving inspired, if not entertained.

When I saw this movie the weekend it came out the core demographic was almost the opposite of its competing Best Picture Nom “Little Women,” a movie that had mainly younger women, mothers and young daughters, “FvF” was a theater filled with dads in jeans and sons wearing NASCAR shirts.

That is to be expected—the fans who were in the theater that afternoon probably did not think this film would be nominated for best picture. If you get a chance to see this movie, you should do so, but I wouldn’t put it over seeing some of the other nominated films.

3/5 Stars

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