Good Afternoon. I have escaped my bedroom prison and believe me I have put that hijacking Maltese in his place. How dare he take over my blog?! It’s bad enough he dares to sleep in my novelist’s lap when clearly, I should be the one on the throne of honor. Moving forwards, my novelist is continuing to polish up the sixth book in her series and decided this week to focus on one of the films we watched on the “big shiny rectangle” as that boorish Maltese would put it. Without further ado, here is my novelist.
Some people are gifted, passionate and driven…and others go to business school. You could replace business school with law school too. Believe me. I grew up with a lot of people who became lawyers. And it is the premise of the fantastic underappreciated film Ford v Ferrari.
My novel Chicane is about a race car driver afflicted by unfinished business. And although it is a vastly different story, after interviewing with professionals and researching for my book I could appreciate the great care and technical knowledge writers Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller put into this screenplay. Especially Ken Mile’s dialogue where a lot of the science of race car driving comes to light.
The best scene in the film for me is not actually one of the racing sequences (although they are nothing short of spectacular). It is the moment where Ken Miles explains to Carroll Shelby the difference between Shelby (and himself) and the employees who work at the Ford Motor Company. It is one of the most truthful moments I have heard on film in a long time. Plainly put people hate people who can think differently than they do. Because those are the individuals who change the world. And not might I add just in the racing circuits and auto industries.
Ford v Ferrari was nominated for four Academy Awards and thankfully won for its outstanding editing (it also won the Bafta in this category) as it was clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. It also won the Oscar for sound editing which it also resoundingly deserved. It should have been nominated for a few more categories as well most notably Christian Bale’s outstanding performance as the insightful and talented but underappreciated Ken Miles.
And to further support the film’s premise Ford v Ferrari is one of those movies where the audience rated it higher than the critics. If you do not believe me go and look at the tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes for Ford v Ferrari. And while you are at it look at another film the critics rated lower than the audience, a little-known nineties flick called The Shawshank Redemption. The audience is right on both accounts. In fact, look at a lot of films that have come out over the past decade, especially some of the award winners that received critical acclaim and compare the audiences score to the critics score. You will start to see a disappointing pattern. I certainly did.
Unfortunately, Ford v Ferrari is not available to stream on Netflix or Amazon currently. But if you can rent Ford v Ferrari on DVD, I highly recommend it. I wish I had seen it in the theatres because all the racing scenes must look incredible on the big screen. And the feel and look of the movie is gorgeous. You genuinely believe you are in the world of race car driving.
While you are waiting for my next post you can check out my novel Chicane on Amazon.
There is a Free Class Friday 5/22/2020 @ Noon with ScreenwritingU. It is called 15 Ways To Rewrite Your Script. You can go here to reserve a spot and join the class.
STREAM OF THE WEEK: A MAN WITH A MISSION MOVIES: THE FURY OF A PATIENT MAN and BLUE RUIN-Netflix
The Fury of a Patient Man is about a mild mannered average middle-class gentleman who strikes up a relationship with a beautiful café owner. The café owner has a boyfriend she shares a young child with, but the boyfriend runs with a dangerous crowd. In fact, he has been spending a lot of time in prison because he and his buddies get their kicks robbing jewelry stores. And why does this mild mannered average middle-class man get involved with these nefarious characters? Because HE’S VERY TICKED OFF!!! The Fury of a Patient Man is a tense driven revenge story about a respectable man who is determined, and I mean determined to deal with those who crossed his path. Yes, this movie is in Spanish so you may have to use subtitles. But if you don’t watch movies with subtitles sometimes, you’re going to miss out on a plethora of great stories. So, buck it up, turn on the subtitles and go for this fantastic ride.
Blue Ruin is one of my favorite films of the past decade. Serendipitously cast with the wonderful Macon Blair in the lead, this is one you do not want to miss. Now this ironically is one of those films where the critics got it right giving it a whopping 96% positive and the audience got it wrong. It is also a revenge movie though it plays out a little differently than my other recommendation. Homeless and living out of his car Dwight gets the news his arch enemy has just been released from prison. Terrified and furious at the same time Dwight sets out on a journey to set things right…if you know what I mean. Although not an expensively made movie this film is gorgeous looking, and the use of blue throughout is reminiscent of the look of the film Bleu from the masterpiece Trois Colors by legendary filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. Look for Eve Plumb…yes, that’s right Jan from The Brady Bunch in a tour de force role.
SMART FILMS FOR SMART KIDS: BOLT-Netflix
We’ll call this one the dog on a mission movie. Some of you may have caught this one and some of you may have passed. Either way, this is a terrific dog on a mission/road picture film for kids and adults alike. A dog named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the star of an spy action television show which he believes is real. On the show Bolt has superhero powers he believes are real too. His owner is the co-star of the show, a girl named Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus). When Bolt crosses paths with some mean spirited cats who act in minor roles on the show, Bolt ends up being accidentally shipped in a box from Los Angeles to New York city where he meets another feline, the world weary alley cat Mittens who the delusional Bolt employs to help him get back to the make believe world of television.