For those unfamiliar with the world of professional motor racing, the compelling ability of Ford v Ferrari to draw you into this world and its story will surprise you and make you look at the relationship you have with your car differently the next time you get behind your wheel. For marketers it's a great study on repositioning, for car enthusiasts we're taken on a journey of bliss in pursuit of 7000 revolutions per minute where time stops and a driver reaches motoring zen being at one with his or her vehicle.
Set in the 1960s, Ford aspires to change its perception as a leading brand in the motoring industry by competing in the world's oldest 24 hour car race, Le Mans. Dominated by Ferrari, Ford calls on Caroll Shelby (Matt Damon), the only American driver to ever win it to help them build a car faster than its main rival. Unable to drive, Shelby calls on old friend Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to lead the design team and race the US $9 million car to victory. Based on a true story, some embellishments are taken to propel the story.
For the most part its about a man who Damon's Southern texan charm in Shelby alongside Bale's thrillseeking hothead Miles are a Formula 1 extravaganza. The two hours and thirty two minutes of film is jam packaed with dramatic moments from corporate politics of the executive offices testing a friendship. It's balanced with comedic moments from the longtim rivalry between Henry Ford II and and Enzo Ferrari and we're given a new granule perspective into race car mobility with the high senses of Ken Miles (Christian Bale) with each gear change, clutch control and corner steers embodying every feature of the car he has helped design.
In the softer scenes we begin to understand the mind of a true engineering genius. “If your'e going to push a car to it's limit, you have to respect it” he says in an eye opening scene, one of many he has with son Peter (Noah Jupe). It's this humanising with support from wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) that makes this story one that resonates with everyone.
In Australian cinemas from 14 November.