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Matt Damon and Christian Bale recreate Le Mans circa 1966 in ‘Ford v Ferrari’

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Official Trailer for “Ford v Ferrari”

Money, Cars, Engineering, Sexy Racing scenes, what could go wrong?

From “Logan” and “Walk The Line” director James Mangold, “Ford v Ferrari” follows the true story of American engineer Carroll Shelby who is solicited by Henry Ford II to build a car that can beat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship in France. Shelby, determined to complete Ford’s ambitious task, insists on putting the wild and loose British driver Ken Miles behind the wheel. What ensues is the fast-playing tale of a couple eccentric and erratic people infiltrating a world filled with professional industrialists to take on the impossible.

Matt Damon will play Shelby in the film and Christian Bale will play Miles. Rather than one being the lead and the other being a supporting role, both actors are co-leading the film, making them both eligible for Best Actor in a Leading Role nominations at the Oscars come February. 

With Two Top Tier Hollywood Veterans Co-Leading, Will this mean “Damon v Bale” at the Oscars?

Neither Damon nor Bale is a stranger to the Academy Awards. They each have a trophy and several nominations under their belts. Bale won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 2010’s “The Fighter.” He was nominated in that same category for his 2015 performance in “The Big Short,” and has two Best Leading Actor nominations for 2013’s “American Hustle” and 2018’s “Vice.”

Damon on the other hand has never won an Oscar for acting. His only win was for 1997’s “Good Will Hunting” in the Best Original Screenplay category. That same year, however, he was nominated for Best Actor in “Good Will Hunting” and received the same nomination eight years later for his role in “The Martian.” He also earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in 2009’s “Invictus” and a best picture nomination for producing “Manchester By The Sea” in 2016.

Both actors are evidently prestigious and immensely talented. At the same time, though, it is safe to assume that they are also both hungry for that Best Leading Actor award. If they both deliver in “Ford v Ferrari,” then it could become Damon v Bale at the Oscars.

June Release pushed back and now will fight Streaming Wars for Audience Attention

“Ford v Ferrari” debuted at the Telluride Film Festival earlier this year and played again at the Toronto Film Festival. The film received favorable reviews following both festivals. In particular, critics praised the movie for its race-like rhythm and the performances from its two stars. Additionally, while Mangold’s previous work has been generally dark in tone, “Ford v Ferrari” has an upbeat energy and a good sense of humor.

Under the banner of 20th Century Fox, the movie was originally scheduled to come out on June 28th. However, after the merger between Fox and Disney, the release date was pushed back to put it closer to Hollywood’s awards season. It’s new November 15th release date does not give it much rivalry for opening weekend at the box office. However, it is sandwiched between the release of “Doctor Sleep” the week before and “Frozen 2” the week after. Likewise, Disney+ comes out on the 12th, which could very well keep people away from the theaters for a few days. Thus, when it comes to “Ford v Ferrari,” the key word may be competition. It is a movie about the clash between two automobile tycoons, focusing on the strained relationship between a radical engineer and a hostile driver. Furthermore, upon release, “Ford v Ferrari” will have to prove itself against other forms of entertainment coming out in November, and come award season, we may see Damon and Bale taking the stage against each other for their two performances in the same film.


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