In director James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari, we find a myriad of convalescing quiet, beautiful moments and deafening high-octane race scenes all coming together full-force to make one of the best films of 2019.

The biopic of American car designer Carroll Shelby’s journey to make a Ford car fast and durable enough to beat formidable Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is both epic and gorgeous, rattling and quietly understated, all at the same time.

With this dazzling showcase, Mangold — director of Walk The Line and Logan — proves he has it in him to be one of the great directors of our time. Christian Bale and Matt Damon are truly magnetic, with the former giving his best performance since The Fighter as hot-headed driver Ken Miles.

If Bale isn’t in the running for best actor this year, then there’s something wrong with the Academy. He’s simply unforgettable and draws you to him every time he’s on-screen.

Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal further proves here he deserves leading man status, and 2000’s heartthrob Josh Lucas a beautiful comeback as meddling Ford executive Leo Beebe. With films like Glory Road, Sweet Home Alabama and A Beautiful Mind under his belt, it’s about time he earned his way back into Hollywood’s good graces.

Ford v Ferrari is a beautiful, thunderous adventure of a film with multi-faceted performances, and it’ll keep you riveted until the very last moment.

Jordan Parker is a PR professional and journalist in Halifax, and these reviews appear first on his film blog Parker & the Picture Shows.