Ever since the well-received film premiered in Telluride I have been asking the consultants on the film if the two stars, both leads in my opinion, would be competing in the same category for awards consideration but always got the response that no decision had been made regarding importing one of them into supporting actor so they would not have to face each other, a common practice now despite billing or the size of the role. Some pundits speculated that they could be split as Bale, who plays tempestuous test driver Ken Miles in effect worksfor Damon's Carroll Shelby, the same thinking that Brad Pitt's character in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood works for DiCaprio's thus making it easier to justify splitting categories.
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This means Bale, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 2010's The Fighter and was nominated for Lead Actor last year for Vice, will not be joining the imposing list of past Best Actor Oscar winners who are being campaigned for support this year in large roles that might just as reasonably be considered leading parts. Al Pacino in The Irishman,Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes,Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,and even Jamie Foxxin Just Mercyare among those fighting for a slot in the uber competitive supporting category full of major names. And as indicated above past Best Actor multiple nominee Pitt is also considered a front runner there, being campaigned for support so as not to face fellow above-the-title co-star DiCaprio, just as Hopkins , Hanks , Pacino, and Foxx are doing as well with their respective co-stars Jonathan Pryce, Matthew Rhys, Robert DeNiro, and Michael B. Jordan being pushed alone in the lead category. Bale and Damon are bucking the trend and it is highly rare to do that in modern Oscar campaigns. Interestingly both share the same PR representative who was involved in the decision in both forging ahead in the Best Actor race this year, which is equally crowded in a wide field that also includes along with the aforementioned Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Taron Egerton, and some still to be seen such as Mark Ruffalo in Dark Watersand Paul Wer Hauser in Richard Jewell.Bale has the best chance to prevail with our sister site Gold Derby currently listing him with 58 to 1 odds in the Best Race while Damon is listed 100 to 1. GD also has both on the Supporting chart since it was unclear how this would be worked out.
Bale and Damon will be trying to do something that hasn't happened in 28 years. In fact the last time two stars competed in the same category and both won nominations was for 1991's Thelma And Louisefor which both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were nominated as Best Actress. For the Best Actor race you would have to go back even further to 1984's Amadeuswith both Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham landing lead nominations, and the latter actually winning.The first example was for 1935's Mutiny On The Bountyin which threestars, Clark Gable , Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone were each nominated for Best Actor , but all lost to Victor McLaglen in The Informer.That was the only time three co-stars competed against each other in a leading Oscar category, but was also the year before the Supporting categories, where this kind of co-star competition is more frequent, were introduced
Common wisdom among today's breed of Oscar strategists is that even if two stars were to be nominated against each other in the lead category they would most likely split the vote, winning nothing for the film instead of having a chance to pick up both lead and supporting Oscars if they split categories. In the rather pry 17 times this has occurred in Oscar history only four times did a split not occur and one of the pair went on to victory. In addition to Abraham over Hulce, Shirley MacLaine in Terms Of Endearment1983 over Debra Winger, Peter Finch posthumously in Network 1976 over William Holden , and Bing Crosby in Going My Way 1944 over Barry Fitzgerald each won. In the latter's unique case Fitzgerald was also nominated in the Supporting Actor category for the same film and won there instead. After that the Academy changed its rules allowing an actor to be nominated only once for the same performance in whichever category they first get the required number of votes.
Sometimes campaigners and actors are taken off guard. Sarandon was nominated for lead actress in 1981's Atlantic Citydespite being campaigned for support and admitting she even voted for herself in that category. Kate Winslet also surprised with a Best Actress nomination and win for The Readerdespite a campaign for supporting following SAG and Golden Globe wins in that category. Ultimately, at least as far as the Motion Picture Academy is concerned members of the actor's branch make the determination on their own as to who is lead and who is supporting. They can , and apparently many times are influenced by the way a performance and film is campaigned and in recent years have clearly followed that lead. Just last year many thought Mahershala Ali was an equal lead opposite co-star Viggo Mortensen in Green Book but the actor and his team made the decision to be campaigned for supporting instead — and he won. It is hard to compete with as meaty a role as that ,especially if your role is trulysupporting.
Bale and Damon should be congratulated for staying above the title in the awards campaign , as well as the movie. Ford v Ferrariopens November 15. The Best ActorOscar race has already opened. Gentlemen, start your engines.
Matt Damon‘s next cinematic venture is James Mangold’s race car drama Ford v Ferrari with Christian Bale. Hence why the actor and his co-star were recently given over to GQ‘s British magazine for a massive interview feature to promote the new film. As great as it is to read the two actors’ words about working together on Ford v Ferrari and whatnot, though, it’s what Damon said about turning down the chance to lead James Cameron’s first Avatar film that’s catching everyone’s attention.
While discussing whether or not they had “ever been tempted… to take a big-money film” they knew was “probably going to be bad,” Damon tangentially mentioned that he was offered Avatar by Cameron. Not only that, but he was offered what would have been a massive deal worth $250 million, though long before anyone knew how much money the movie was going to make:
“Jim Cameron offered me Avatar. And when he offered it to me, he goes, ‘Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor. If you don’t take this, I’m going to find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you ten percent of [it].'”
GQ later calculated, based roughly on the staggering $2.7 billion that Avatar made at the global box office, that Damon “could have been a quarter of a billion dollars up” had he taken Cameron’s offer. Or, as the actor recalled of what John Krasinski’s reaction to this was when he told him, “If you had done that movie, nothing in your life would be different. Nothing in your life would be different at all. Except that, right now, we would be having this conversation in space.”
Add Matt Damon to the long list of actors who regret turning down a famous movie. In a recent interview with GQ magazine alongside his “Ford v Ferrari” co-star Christian Bale, Damon reveals that he rejected James Cameron’s personal offer for him to lead his “Avatar” movie franchise. Cameron wanted Damon to play Jake Sully, a role that went to then-newcomer Sam Worthington once Damon passed. What makes turning down “Avatar” a regret for Damon is that Cameron was offering him a big percentage of box office profits. Damon clearly had no idea at the time “Avatar” would go on to become the biggest film in the world for a decade.
“Jim Cameron offered me ‘Avatar,’” Damon told GQ, “and when he offered it to me, he goes, 'Now, listen. I don't need anybody. I don't need a name for this, a named actor. If you don't take this, I'm going to find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn't really need you. But if you take the part, I'll give you ten per cent of…'”
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Damon caught his comment short, prompting GQ interviewer Stuart McGurk to ask, “He offered you ten per cent of the Avatar profits?” Damon confirmed that was the case, saying he could not sign on to “Avatar” because of previous commitments to the Paul Greengrass movies “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Green Zone.” Had Damon said yes to Cameron’s offer, he would have received at least a massive $250 million from box office profits alone. “Avatar” grossed $2.76 billion worldwide and remained the highest grossing movie ever released until this year when it was surpassed by “Avengers: Endgame.”
“I told John Krasinski this story when we were writing ‘Promised Land’ and he goes, 'What?' And he stands up and he starts pacing in the kitchen. He goes, 'OK. OK. OK. OK. OK,'” Damon told Vanity Fair. “He goes, 'If you had done that movie, nothing in your life would be different. Nothing in your life would be different at all. Except that, right now, we would be having this conversation in space.'”
Damon added, “So, yeah. I've left more money on the table than any actor actually...So that sucked and that's still brutal. But my kids are all eating. I'm doing OK.”
“Ford v Ferrari” earned strong reviews at Telluride and TIFF and opened nationwide from Disney/Fox on November 15.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s joint movie ventures number into the double digits at this point. They shot to mainstream glory with Good Will Hunting, for which they both won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. That movie followed long after Field Of Dreams the duo acted as extras, and there’s been plenty of other collaborations between the two, including Project Greenlight, The Runner, and all of those Kevin Smith movies. They’ll even reunite in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but there’s another joint project of interest on the horizon - Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, in which they’ll both face-off with Villanelle?
Okay, I completely elaborated on that last detail, but Jodie Comer who embodies the iconic assassin of Killing Eve is looking to follow up her Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy win in style. Variety reports that the English actress is in deep talks to star in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel. The project hasn’t yet been greenlit, but if that hurdle is crossed, Comer’s expected to hop onboard alongside Damon and Affleck, and here’s more on the movie:
The Last Duel is set in 14th century France and follows a man who goes to war and returns to discover a friend of his has raped his wife portrayed by Comer. No one will believe the woman, and the soldier appeals to the king of France and says he wants to fight a duel to the death to decide the man’s fate, becoming the last legally sanctioned duel in France.
Obviously, this would be a different type of role for Comer as she wades through what must certainly be a huge pile of post-Emmy offers. There appears to be no dark comedy to be found in the above synopsis, so she’ll get to stretch outside the espionage box. If you’re missing Killing Eve, by the way, Halloween is almost here, and what better reason to google “Villanelle pajamas” for an outfit? None, I say.
Ford V Ferrari is based on a true story, and stars the Academy Award-winning duo of Matt Damon and Christian Bale as the racing designer and driver respectively. Jason Bourne and Batman together at last. Damon stars as the American car designer, Carroll Shelby, with Bale as his tempestuous friend and driver, Ken Miles. After being humiliated by the founder of Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari, the unlikely duo team-up with Ford Motor Company to beat their racing car rivals at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Along the way their fractious friendship will be tested, as well as their newly designed motor car, as the film navigates through the peaks and troughs that are oh-so familiar with a biopic.
This second trailer continues to bask in the golden, sun-kissed deserts on which our heroes test their racing skills, with the film so perpetually bright you can feel the heat coming off the screen. Looking equally hot is the work of the two lead actors, with both looking on top form, as is to be expected of such a talented pair. Matt Damon looks to be once again bringing his comforting, everyman appeal that has seen him in such good stead, whilst Christian Bale brings with him another accent along with another complex, angry individual that we will no doubt come to find endearing as the film progresses. Both actors appear to be doing what is expected, but this also happens to be what they do best.
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Of course, a film entitled Ford v Ferrari would be nothing without the racing, and aside from The Martian and The Machinist butting heads and bromancing down, the trailer treats us to a glimpse of the adrenaline-fueled driving that promises to leave audiences gripping the armrest. There are big crashes, close-calls and Christian Bale close-ups as cars tear around race tracks and we wonder who of these two motor racing behemoths will emerge triumphant.
If you know the true story then you know the answer, but please, no spoilers.
Ford v Ferrari premiered at the Telluride Film Festival at the end of August and has also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival more recently on the 9th September. The early buzz that has come out of these festivals has been very favorable, with the film currently sitting at a fresh 88% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews.
The film comes from director James Mangold, known for his Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and the seminal comic book movie Logan and stars Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone and Ray McKinnon alongside Damon and Bale. Ford v Ferrari is set to hit theaters released on November 15th.
Ford v Ferrari is an old-school Hollywood drama — the type that is in short supply these days. It has movie stars! It has an uplifting, all-American message! It has timely needle-drops that make you perk-up and say, “Hey, I love that song!” We need more movies like this, especially these days — when multiplexes are overrun with franchises and superheroes. But that doesn't excuse how dull long stretches of James Mangold's racing pic are. Whenever the film hits the track, it's exciting as hell. But as soon as the cars are parked, all the life runs out of this thing like gas from a leaking tank.
It's the 1960s, andEnzo Ferrari Remo Girone dominates the24 Hours of Le Mans race with his slick, sleek cars. But what if an American made car won the race? That's the dream of Lee Iacocca Jon Bernthal, vice-president of Ford, who hopes to boost limp Ford car sales with a big, flashy publicity stunt: the construction of a Ford racer that can winLe Mans. CEO Henry Ford II a scene-stealing and dryly hilariousTracy Letts is skeptical to the idea, but not entirely dismissive. The same can't be said for Ford execLeo Beebe Josh Lucas, a sniveling, smarmy villain character who might as well be twirling a big mustache every time he says something.
To realize this dream, Ford turns to cowboy hatconnoisseur Caroll Shelby Matt Damon, one of the few Americans to have won Le Mans in the past. Shelby's racing days are over thanks to a weak heart, and now he spends his days designing race cars, most of which are driven by the ornery Ken Miles Christian Bale, a rude, crude, short-tempered bloke who is also one hell of a driver.
And so the stage is set for director Mangold and writersJez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller to stage a saga in which Shelby, Miles and their team try, fail, try and fail again, striving to design the perfect car to beat those pesky Italians. Mangold excels at shooting the numerous driving sequences, bringing us right into the action as extremely fast cars rocket down stretches of roads at suicidal speeds. These action-packed moments are the best in the film, and it's easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement accompanied by a vibrant score fromMarco Beltrami.
Unfortunately, Ford v Ferrari can't stay inside cars for its entire runtime, which means Mangold has to slam on the brakes to focus on bland character moments that are clearly meant to be emotional, but never quite connect. We never really care about Miles's personal life with his wife Caitriona Balfe and son Noah Jupe. And Shelby's clashes with the micromanaging Beebe grow tedious.
That's not to say the cast isn't giving it their all. Damon's laid-back, easy-going Shelby is affable enough. But it's Bale's Miles that's the real draw. The actor cuts loose, playing Miles as a quirky loud-mouth prone to leaning heavily into slang and hard-core Britishisms. There are times where Bale is in danger of going over-the-top, but he usually reigns it back in. Usually.
All the elements are in place to have made Ford v Ferrari a winner. But the script is so paint-by-numbers, running through biopic cliches without a care in the world, that it's hard to stand up and cheer for what's up on the screen. If you're in the mood for a series of incredibly exciting racing scenes, Ford v Ferrari delivers. If you're looking for anything deeper than that, this isn't the ride for you.