Ford v Ferrari tells the true story of the ultimate automotive rivalry. Matt Damon stars as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale plays Ken Miles, but they’re actually on the same side. Shelby designs race cars for Ford and Miles drives Shelby’s GT40. They take on reigning Le Mans champion Enzo Ferrari at the 1966 race.
Bale and Damon may be teaming up to take on Ferrari in the movie but in the spirit of friendly competition, Showbiz Cheat Sheet pit Damon v Bale to see who wins Ford v Ferrari. Spoilers for Ford v Ferrari below.
Matt Damon builds the car, Christian bale drives the car
There would be no Ford v Ferrari without Carroll Shelby to build the GT40. Some of the most exciting scenes in the movie are when the crew make adjustments, try them out and modify again. Matt Damon is leading those scenes as both a mentor and an innovator himself.
The car itself is only a tool though. You still need a driver to navigate the race and work the vehicle. Ken Miles is that driver and Christian Bale gets all the racing action scenes. Bale may win this round.
Matt Damon is the team player, Christian Bale is the wild card
Ken Miles never played the game or even practiced basic diplomacy. He gets thrown out of a race early on for mouthing off to an official. Ford executives don’t like him, especially Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) and that’s good drama. He’s the best but it makes his bosses resent him.
Carroll Shelby could hold the team together and keep the money men happy. That’s a very important skill to have, but it’s far more entertaining to watch Ken Miles lash out. Another point to Christian Bale.
They actually fight in the movie
When Ken Miles gets suspended from the team, his replacement driver loses so Shelby comes back with his tail between his legs. Miles doesn’t accept Shelby’s gracious apology and pops him in the nose. They wrestle to the ground and destroy a bag of groceries in the process.
Matt Damon has some tricks up his sleeve too
Ken Miles let everybody know exactly what he thought. He kept no secrets and never bit his tongue. Carroll Shelby had ways of messing with people when they didn’t even know what hit em.
He’d lock Leo Beebe in his office so he could have some alone time with Henry Ford II. He’d drop lug nuts in the Ferrari crew pit so they’d think they sent their car out missing a part. Sometimes subtlety wins, so Matt Damon wins here.
And the winner is: Christian Bale
Christian Bale is the MVP of Ford v Ferrari although to be fair, he wins by a nose. He gets the entertaining showboat character and he delivers. Props to Matt Damon for reigning it in to play the more reserved Carroll Shelby.