Motorsport News

Oscar-Nominated Motorsports Films

2008 Chicagoland Ryan Newman racing NKP

Another year of movies is officially in the books after Sunday’s (March 12) Academy Awards, and over the years, many motorsports films have been nominees.

The excellent Everything Everywhere All At Once led all films at the 95th Oscars in both nominations (11) and eventual wins (seven), sweeping every single above-the-line (Best Picture, Director, all acting and specific screenplay) category it was nominated for.

Sunday was full of storylines, my favorite of which was Ke Huy Quan (who famously played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) claiming Best Supporting Actor in an incredible career comeback. And, in a full-circle moment, Best Actor winner Brendan Fraser and Best Actress winner Michelle Yeoh (the first Asian woman to do so) had previously starred alongside each other in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. That film graced Ryan Newman‘s car at Chicagoland Speedway in 2008 (yes, everything somehow seems to tie back to NASCAR).

But what motorsports films have managed to score nominations of their own at the Oscars? Let’s start with the most recent.

Ford v Ferrari

One of my top 10 films of 2019 (a very good year, featuring the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, eventual Best Picture winner Parasite and more), James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari was also named as one of the National Board of Review’s 10 best films of the year.

Four Academy Award nominations followed on Jan. 13, 2020, announced by John Cho and Issa Rae, for Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Film Editing. True, it didn’t stack up in quantity to Joker (11 noms), Hollywood (10), The Irishman (10) or five other movies with more acknowledgements, but for a racing film to be noticed that much — and lock down a Picture nomination despite nothing acting- or screenplay-wise — was impressive.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Ben Zauzmer publishes a popular list every year of the films most likely to win based on a typically-accurate mathematical model. Going in, Ford v Ferrari ranked at the following:

  • Seventh of nine Picture nominees (1.5% chance of winning, 2.8% behind Jojo Rabbit, 0.4% ahead of Marriage Story and 0.5% ahead of Little Women)
  • First of five Editing nominees (29.7% chance of winning, 1.5% ahead of Parasite)
  • First of five Sound Editing nominees (34.5% chance of winning, 2.1% ahead of 1917)
  • First of five Sound Mixing nominees (41.7%…

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