James Mangold has been one of the most underrated filmmakers of the past twenty years. Delivering stealthily great films like Cop Land and 3:10 To Yuma, and funding these efforts with weighty blockbusters like Logan and Walk The Line, even his lesser-known films are excellent – you should all do yourselves a favor and watch the action rom-com classic Knight and Day. However, despite one Oscar nomination for Logan in 2017, Mangold has never gotten his due as a brilliant filmmaker in his own right. However, with the release of the first trailer for Ford v Ferrari, the last film from 20th Century Fox and Disney’s first attempt at the adult dramas under their new banner, that could very well change, as the film seems poised to become both a critical and commercial hit.
In 1966, Ford Motor Company, run by Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) and Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts), became determined to defeat perennial favorite Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) in the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race in France. To accomplish this goal, they put together an eccentric, determined team of engineers, designers, and drivers, including famous designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale). The result was the Ford GT40, as well as one of the most famous auto races in history.
This is a simply flawless trailer. I’ve never seen two minutes so perfectly telegraph a film’s pros before. You can see exactly how great the performances are, specifically Damon, Bale, Bernthal, and especially the underrated Letts. You can witness how stunning the cinematography by Phedon Papamichael is, especially during the auto races. You can feel how tight the editing is, and how sharp the cuts are. I mean, this trailer alone should be taught in classes on how to package a film to get people excited. Coupled with strong test screenings and the news that the script is written by British legends Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, I’m moving this one up in my Oscar predictions. Look for Ford to be making a big jump in the coming months. Ford v Ferrari will be released on the prime Oscar/adult drama date of November 15th. You can watch the trailer below.