Ford v Ferrari Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

Told based on true events Ford v Ferrari (LE MANS 66) – AGAINST EVERY CHANCE about the inseparable friendship between two racing drivers and the competition between two successful car manufacturers. Both leave lasting impressions. We reveal more about this in our review.

The highlight of the film is the splendid re-enactment of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The plot summary

In 1959, Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) is at the peak of his career, having just won the most difficult of all car races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. His greatest triumph is followed by devastating news: a doctor tells the fearless Texan that a serious heart condition prohibits him from continuing his racing career. Which leads the ever-imaginative Shelby to reinvent himself as a car designer and salesman. He starts his new career in a warehouse in Venice Beach. The staff includes the hot-blooded test driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale). The British racing ace is a family man, brilliant behind the wheel, but at the same time uncouth, arrogant and incapable of compromise. When Shelby’s vehicles competed against those of the venerable Enzo Ferrari at Le Mans, the Ford Motor Company signed the visionary and commissioned him to build the ultimate racing car. Determined to complete their task, Shelby, Miles and their motley crew take on the challenge…

Ford v Ferrari Movie Meaning & ending

In 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans entered its 96th year. This is a long tradition, which today is seen primarily as a showdown between car manufacturers and less as a test of strength between individual athletes. However, that wasn’t always the case. Although in 1959 a competition broke out between Ford and Ferrari for the fastest racing car in the world, the focus was primarily on one of the drivers: Ken Miles, once the enfant terrible of the racing scene, difficult to control and yet extremely loyal, That same year, he got behind the wheel for Ford and fought a historic competition with his team against the Italians, which caused a stir, especially because of the controversial outcome (we don’t want to reveal more about that). Director James Mangold (“Logan”) is now concentrating on these two narrative levels in his highly exciting and equally deeply personal (and surprisingly funny) racing drama “Ford v Ferrari – Against Every Chance”. Originally titled “Ford v Ferrari,” the film is equal parts about the sporting competition, both on the racetrack and behind the scenes at Ford Motor Company, as well as the relationship between Ken Miles and his friend Carroll Shelby. A fine move, because “Le Mans” never loses its soul despite all of its rather superficial power posturing surrounding mobile vehicles.

Caitriona Balfe as Ken’s car-loving wife, Mollie Miles.

In addition to the long-term damage to the environment and the high risk of injury to drivers and crew, racing has always been criticized for being more of an arms race between car manufacturers than a competition between drivers. That was certainly a challenge in advance for the screenwriter trio of Jez Butterworth (“James Bond 007: Spectre”) , John-Henry Butterworth (“Edge of Tomorrow”) and Jason Keller (“Escape Plan”) – after all, they sympathize with people made of flesh and blood and with feelings, much better than with profit-hungry car companies. But the script for “Ford v Ferrari” focuses from the start on the human factor in this story. First of all, there is Carroll Shelby, who is forced to end his racing career overnight and decides to go behind the scenes of the car circus. And there’s Ken Miles, who is established within a few scenes as a hard-to-handle bully who will no doubt prove difficult to work with. Nevertheless, the relationship between the two men is based on deep sympathy – and it underpins the competition between Ford and Ferrari with heart and soul. Because in the end it’s not about keeping your fingers crossed for one of the two companies, but rather about following the exciting path towards the Le Mans race. Miles’ emotional outbursts of anger threaten to prevent his participation in the competition at times, while at the same time Shelby stubbornly sticks to “his man” and does everything he can to convince Ford of his suitability as a team member of the Ford team. For most of the time, “Le Mans” is only about the competition on the track, but rather about the connection between the two main characters.

The script allows Ken in particular to have an extensive social environment. In particular, his car-loving wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) occupies a crucial position, viewing the sometimes quite turbulent events either critically or with great amusement. She and her son Peter (Noah Jupe) make Ken Miles not just a highly committed racing driver, but also a family man who always puts the well-being of his loved ones above his passion. And that is exactly what “Ford v Ferrari” thrives on: interest and sympathy for its characters. Especially in a scene in which James Mangold impressively presents the capabilities of the latest Ford car and releases a lot of adrenaline in the viewer and which leads to a terrible accident a short time later, shows with considerable clarity how this happens within just a few seconds Shift your priorities: If you have just enjoyed the spectacularly filmed racing sequences and dreamed with Ford of beating Ferrari in the race for the fastest car, all of that is absolutely meaningless just a short time later – after all, there are still people sitting here at the end behind the wheel whose lives are not worth any record, no matter how sensational. Nevertheless, one thing cannot be denied: once Ken Miles sits behind the wheel, the screen becomes a race track. As amusing as the friendly quarrels between Miles and Shelby may be and as exciting and sometimes self-revealing as the (technical) competition between Ford and Ferrari may be, the scenes on the racetrack are just as energetic and rousing.

… and “Ford v Ferrari” reaches a fabulous finish with an almost half-hour reenactment of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With an incredible attention to detail, James Mangold manages to capture car racing as a physically demanding sport with cameraman Phedon Papamichael (“The Huntsman & The Ice Queen”) in equal proportions it captures furious panoramic sequences from the race track that provide an overview of the racing action, it also captures Christan Bales’ strained face in close-up and repeatedly jumps back and forth between shots of the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals as well as the control stick to show the behavior of the car of the racetrack to be directly linked to the actions of the driver. The three-person editorial trio of Andrew Buckland (“Girl on the Train”)Michael McCusker (“Greatest Showman”) and Dirk Westervelt (“Zombieland: Twice is better”) finally mixes the whole thing into a prime example of an equally energetic and tempo-forcing, but never confusing cut that optimally underlines the heated atmosphere in the situation. The three cutters can also reduce that; Especially in the interpersonal moments, the cameraman does not allow himself any unnecessary experiments, but rather emphasizes the character drama characteristics of the film with calm and overview. Same with Matt Damon (“The Martian”) and Christian Bale (“Enemies – Hostiles”)who both put themselves entirely at the service of their roles, but never get hung up on their characters’ whims and thus make them absolutely authentic contemporaries with whom you would happily spend many more hours in the cinema.

Conclusion: “Ford v Ferrari – Against Every Chance” is a passionate portrait of the time when car racing was still a sport and competition between large corporations was not half as important as cohesion and friendship between old friends. Big pictures, a surprising amount of humor and two great leading actors make James Mangold’s racing drama one of the best films of the year.

“Ford v Ferrari – Against Every Chance” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from November 14th.

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