Director: James Mangold
Writers: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller
Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts
Ford’s company wants to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Caroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles are teaming up to make the ultimate race car.
Ford v Ferrari is based on a true story.
The Ford Company
The sales of Ford in 1966 were doing terrible, and they had to come up with a new marketing plan. They came up with an idea to increase sales. Therefore they are to participate in the 24 Hours Of Le Mans.
At that time, Ferarri was in need of money. Ford proposed to take over the famed manufacturer, but Enzo Ferarri (the founder) declined when Fiat offers an alternative that allows him to retain ownership.
By doing so, Enzo Ferarri insults the executives of Ford. This enrages Henry II, who orders his men to make a better race car to defeat Ferarri in his own game.
The war between the two companies is on!
Caroll Sherby and Ken Miles
While the movie is named Ford v Ferrari, it’s more about Shelby and Miles than the rivalry between the two companies.
Shelby has been assigned by Ford to create their new race car. He, on his turn, asks Miles for becoming its driver.
The story is really about the two of them sharing the same passion. They might not be the same person, characteristics wise, but they understand each other love for cars. There is always a middle ground between them.
Big companies sometimes tend to think everything is for sale. Every big car company can afford to manufacture a racecar and pay an excellent driver. But finding and excellent driver with the right heart that understands cars at his best is hard to find. And, Ken Miles is that person.
Miles helped Shelby by testing the cars and giving him feedback on him. He had a unique skill to analyze the vehicle while driving. The creative process behind it showed us how brilliant the two of them were.
As always, Christian Bale is giving his best again. In every role he plays, he is so committed, which makes him one of the top actors working to this day. Matt Damon, as Shelby, is also great. The chemistry between them is perfect.
I also enjoyed the father and son relationship with Miles.
Marketing, the real enemy
This is not a rant towards Marketing, as I’m a marketer myself during my day job.
Ferarri never felt like the enemy in this film, instead, it was the image of Ford itself.
You have two guys that are doing this job for Ford because of their passions. While Shelby wants Miles as his driver for the 24 Hours Of Le Mans, Ford intends to use another driver because of their image.
Miles is an excellent driver, but he isn’t a people person. That’s why Ford can’t have him to represent them. This way of thinking, in general, makes it hard for people that are pure from the heart in any passion.
You can feel the duo fight against the company executives to have the right person behind the wheel, and that is Miles.
I don’t mind Marketing to be involved in sports, but they shouldn’t interfere in the strategic decisions to win a competition.
I don’t think you would be completely fulfilled if you are watching Ford v Ferrari for the races. There isn’t that much racing.
Don’t get me wrong. The races are fantastic, but it’s not really the point of the film.
When it starts, it’s incredibly well-executed. You can follow the entire competition without being confused while still being highly entertaining.
Ford v Ferrari is truly about Miles and Shelby’s journey. It has excellent character and drama. And, you don’t have to be a car fanatic to enjoy this.