Since the story is designed to be easy to follow, the film inserts scenes of needless conflict to keep the pace moving. An argument can erupt and be solved in the next three minutes of screen time, making the whole thing inconsequential. It's this added fat, which makes the movie not as good as the Hollywood classics that it's trying to impersonate. There is an added problem I have with the story, which stems from the fact it rewrites history. Events happened in a different order; people didn't know each other when they were shown to have met in the film. It's basically a timeline problem that also embellishes drama that never happened.
Ford v Ferrari's quality is shown off in every frame. The cinematography composes familiar shots differently to keep them interesting. It's constantly moving the camera while never crossing action lines to avoid making it confusing for the audience. There are intricate sequences that are easy to follow, with a lot of it shot in camera. Some tremendous full CGI sequences are sneaked here and there, which most probably won't notice.
Along with great racing sequences, the acting from Christian Bale and Matt Damon are the main draw. Their relationship is the heart of the story as they fight and work together to achieve their dreams. You can feel their friendship after a couple of scenes between them, and they continue to sell it throughout the movie. Other critics are praising Bale's performance as something they've never seen from the actor. It's a lot looser and more whimsical than the usual roles he plays.
So this is a pretty easy recommendation. As a crowd-pleaser, it will do its job well. I don't know if including certain events in the film was a good idea, but it does result in the best moment for Matt Damon. I'm vague here, so I won't spoil anything if you do go and see it, I just had to point it out. Also, I feel that in an attempt to be as crowd-pleasing as possible, there were mistakes made that detracted from the final product. So while it was entertaining, and it does get you in the pocket where your anticipation meets excitement, I just wouldn't watch it again.
A lock for Oscar nominations