“Ford v Ferrari” made its world premiere at Telluride Friday afternoon and festival goers welcomed it enthusiastically.
Christian Bale and Matt Damon star in this true tale of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966. Bale stars as race car driver Ken Miles, who teamed up with auto designer Carroll Shelby to design a Ford that could beat the ultra fast Ferrari.
Bale won an Academy Award for his supporting role in “The Fighter” in 2011. He has since been nominated three more times including last year’s leading role in “Vice.”
Damon won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” in 1997. That film also earned him a nomination for Lead Actor. He has since earned two additional acting nominations, and was one of the nominated producers in 2017 for “Manchester by the Sea.”
“Ford v Ferrari” is directed by James Mangold, who earned his first Oscar nomination for writing “Logan” in 2017. He previously directed “Girl, Interrupted,” “Walk the Line,” and “Knight and Day.”
As the credits rolled in Colorado, reactions started pouring in to Twitter. Critics and fans shared generally wide praise for the action drama. Bale seems to be the hot topic of discussion, along with the film’s technical merits.
Our own Clayton Davis and Mark Johnson couldn’t wait to share their thoughts:
Christian Bale emulates his Oscar winning role as Dicky from "The Fighter." Lead role. Definitely a contender for nom. Damon brings it home in the end but struggles early. Noah Jupe is surprisingly great. Letts is a force, demanding attention #fordvferrari #TellurideFilmFestival pic.twitter.com/rRc869oALn
— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) August 30, 2019
#FordvFerrari revs on all cylinders, with Christian Bale’s piston-pumping performance leading the film across the finish line. Editing, cinematography, and score are all top-notch achievements, but the sound work dominates the film. Could be a big contender below the line. #Tff46
— Mark Johnson 🎬 (@MarkLikesMovies) August 30, 2019
Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly was less effusive in her enthusiasm, but liked it nonetheless:
Just out of #FordvFerrari — in car metaphor terms, it’s solidly built. Bale is great behind the wheel. But takes forever to veer up. I don’t think it will make much noise at box office/awards season. #TellurideFilmFestival
— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) August 30, 2019
Ashley Menzel of We Live Entertainment shared Reinstein’s sentiments about the slow start, but agreed that this is an immersive experience:
A little slow out the gate, but #fordvferrari hits its stride when it fully embraces the humor and the adrenaline of the film fueled by the performances of Bale and Damon. The sound is totally immersive & pulls you into the race. @FordvFerrari #telluridefilmfestival #Telluride
— Ashley Menzel at #telluride (@AshleyGMenzel) August 30, 2019
Awards Circuit’s J. Don Birnam is also on hand at Telluride and had this to say:
I’ve never seen a movie that deals in so many cliches and stereotypes manage to speed past all those shortcomings to produce an overall heart pounding effective product. Letts is the best part of #FordvFerrari #Telluride #TellurideFilmFestival
— J Don Birnam @ Telluride Film Festival (@jdonbirnam) August 30, 2019
And Erik Anderson of Awards Watch also wanted to give special mention to Oscar winner Bale:
— Erik Anderson @ Telluride Film Festival (@awards_watch) August 30, 2019