Le Mans '66 - Five Reasons You'll Love It
Recreating sporting greatness on the screen is notoriously difficult, even for the world’s best filmmakers. The thrill of sport is its unpredictability, how truly live the action is, last-minute goal, tries or wickets don’t pack half the punch when you knew the final result before the film started.
One sport that does work rather well with film though, is motorsport. Great car chases are such a staple of action cinema that the speed and dynamism of Formula One is a natural bedfellow for filmmakers. Drivers are individuals, mavericks, backed by superpowered machines. All you need is a great pair of rivals and you’re away. That’s why Rush, Grand Prix and the early Fast and Furious films work so well.
Today, roaring into cinemas, comes the latest instalment. This one comes with the ultimate set of rivals. Ferrari, Italian, flashy, unpredictable, showered in stardust, and Ford, solid, dependable, middle of the road. And one’s ambition to turn the tables.
To tell the story, you need two big movie stars, and that’s what we’ve got, with Christian Bale and Matt Damon leading the way.
The movie, which is known as Ford v. Ferrari in the rest of the world, follows American car designer Carroll Shelby and British driver Ken Miles who set out to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company.
It was a car that was designed to take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas and Noah Jupe star alongside Damon and Bale. Wolverine man James Mangold directs, working from a script from Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller.
Le Mans ‘66 hits cinemas today and will arrive on DVD shelves in 2020. Before that, we caught an early screening and have rounded up five reasons why you’ll love it…
Christian Bale is having so much fun…
Ken Miles is a gift for any actor. He’s brash, uncompromising and as likely to throw a punch as he is a great one-liner. Bale absolutely makes the most of the character.
Matt Damon counteracts him perfectly…
Damon’s Caroll Shelby is an excellent foil for Bale’s extravagance. He’s stoic, practical and calm, the two bounce off each other superbly.
The racing sequences are superb…
Mangold’s eye for an action sequence is great and it’s on show in full here. You have to watch through your fingers at times as cars are tested to their absolute limits and lives are put on the line. But it sure is thrilling.
The period detail is fantastic...
At almost $100 million, this film hasn’t come, but you can see it in every shot. The look of the clothes, the interiors and the cars is quite something.
Playwright Jez Butterworth has done wonders with bullish male egos in his earlier work on stage, with Jerusalem and The Ferrymen, so he’s a great choice for this one. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour watch, but well-paced and gives Miles, Shelby and all the supporting parts real weight.
Le Mans ‘66 is in cinemas now and will be released onto DVD in 2020.