You may have already heard the buzz about the new James Mangold-directed movie Ford v Ferrari. But before you write it off as a dad flick, allow me (not a dad) to explain just how good Christian Bale is in the film. He’s so incredible, in fact, that I’m pretty positive he’ll earn an Oscar nomination in this year’s competitive race.
As I sat in a movie theater watching Ford v Ferrari, which is definitely not my normal sort of movie, I had a major realization: Bale is the best actor in the game. Period. Sure, Matt Damon is great in the film, too, but Bale, 45, is increasingly in a league of his own. Like The Dark Knight and Dick Cheney before it, Ford v Ferrari showcases how Bale transforms himself for each role. It’s not just that he loses weight or cuts his hair to prepare for a role, he seems to change his very essence. His mannerisms are no longer his own, his cadence and gait completely shift and it’s easy to forget he’s Christian Bale. Come to think of it, he’s kind of like Meryl Streep in that way.
For Ford v Ferrari, Bale employs his natural English accent and somehow looks even taller than his 6-foot frame. His limbs hang lankily and he juts his chin out to aptly portray British race car driver, Ken Miles, a notorious hothead but an integral part of the team who designed the Ford GT 40. For those unfamiliar (like me prior to watching the film), it was a huge deal.
Thanks to Bale’s portrayal of Miles, Mangold’s direction and the script, Ford v Ferrari shines as much more than a car movie. It’s about growth, competition, friendship and the drive to become so good at something that you’re willing to risk everything.
It seems the Hollywood Foreign Press Association took note of just how much Bale pops on screen, too. Yesterday, when the organization announced the 2020 Golden Globes nominations, Bale’s name was among those in contention for the Best Actor award. Yes, Adam Driver is incredible in Marriage Story and people were all about Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, but I’m thinking that Bale will snag the Globes statue. And since the Globes are typically indicative of who will also win in the Oscar race, I’m predicting he’ll definitely take home an Oscar this year.
If anyone can make me care about race cars, cry, laugh and dig my nails into my seat during a 2-and-a-half-hour movie, they definitely deserve an award.