In 1966, Ford was an underdog to win Le Mans against Ferrari – a manufacturer that had dominated the famous endurance race for six straight years leading up to Ford’s historic GT40 victory. Now, Ford and Ferrari are united as underdogs in yet another contest. Le Mans '66 (also titled ‘Ford v Ferrari’) – the 2019 film chronicling Ford’s story of the GT40 and its 1966 Le Mans win – is nominated for four Oscars. And yes, one of them is for Best Motion Picture of the Year.
To take home the award, the racing flic will need to top eight other nominees including The Irishman, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. That’s certainly some very stiff cinematic competition, but if Ford v Ferrari fails to take home the Best Picture honour, it has three other chances at Hollywood glory. The film is also nominated for Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.
Gallery: Ford V Ferrari behind the scenes video
Any gearhead who has seen the movie will attest to the sound being epic. The GT40’s eight-cylinder baritone combined with the Ferrari’s V12 soprano are a symphony of power, and the sound isn’t eclipsed by an overzealous soundtrack. For that matter, the racing action is also intense and everything you see on the screen is real, at least in terms of actual vehicles versus computer-generated facsimiles. Admittedly, Hollywood did stretch the actual Ford-versus-Ferrari story just a bit for entertainment purposes, but Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles delivered stellar performances to make this a thoroughly enjoyable flic for anyone with petrol running in their veins.
If it sounds like we’re a bit biased here, well of course we are. This is Motor1.com after all, though we certainly recognise the quality of the other nominated films for this year’s Academy Awards. We also recognise that Ford v Ferrari has been nominated for all kinds of various awards since its big-screen debut last November, and while it’s taken home a few trophies, the lost column far outweighs the victories.
Still, we’ve seen the underdog win before. We’ll see if Ford v Ferrari crosses the finish line first when the 92nd Academy Awards takes place on February 9.