Ford V Ferrari Could Score 'Best Picture' Oscar

It's stacked against the likes of Jojo Rabbit, The Irishman, and more.

20th Century Fox

Early Monday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for this year's Oscars, and among them is an unusual pick: The historic racing drama Ford v Ferrari.

The film starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale is in the running for 2019's Best Picture, a category in which AMPAS has historically snubbed car or racing films. Only twice in the Academy Awards' 92-year history has a Best Picture nomination gone to a car-centric film, first in 1973 to American Graffiti and, more recently, Mad Max: Fury Road, which came out in 2015. Bullitt won an Oscar for sound in 1968, but many films influential on car culture (the Fast & Furious franchise and Gone in 60 Seconds) have failed to come away with awards.

With its rose-tinted view of the past, a fast-and-loose approach to historical accuracy, and frequent use of the "just speed it up in post" approach to racing filmography, Ford v Ferrari isn't a perfect film by any regard. But it wastes little of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime and makes a legendary racing story approachable to a mainstream audience, some of which will take an interest in racing (historic or present) because of the movie. It also shone a spotlight on the previously little-known sports car driver Ken Miles, whose skill behind the wheel was never quite acknowledged by the greater racing world.

By those merits, Ford v Ferrari was a darned solid film, and its producers deserve to say they're up against the likes of Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, The Irishman, and others—even if this year's Oscar noms are lacking on the diversity side.

This year's Academy Awards will air on the evening of Feb. 9. Whether or not you tune in, you'll hear if Ford v Ferrari is as good against film critics as Carroll Shelby was against Ford executives (save for Lee Iacocca, rest his soul.)

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