Le Mans ’66 or Ford v Ferrari as America prefers to call it stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale. It is a true story about the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. This legendary Grand Prix is the stage and our players are Ferrari and Ford. Ford is losing money and Henry Ford II wants innovation to try and win back these losses. One of these innovations is about possibly beating Ferrari at Le Mans.
To pull this off they need a powerful new type of car, a team like no other and a driver that can bring out the full potential of this car. This is where audiences are introduced to Carol Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale). Carol Shelby is the only man who beat Ferrari in Le Mans and Ken is the best driver for the job. These two men and their team are tasked with the impossible, beat Ferrari.
Building it from the ground up
Le Mans ’66 is an impeccably put together film. Director James Mangold has built this vehicle well and it runs smoothly. The racing scenes are thrilling and encapsulate how it feels to drive in such incredible and dangerous machines. It’s electrifying to be a part of these races and I enjoyed every minute on the track.
On top of that, the score of Le Mans ’66 helps to further stimulate the rip-roaring emotions on the race track. It’s all a blend of just the right elements to help Le Mans ’66 sell the hair-rising emotions.
The drivers behind the wheel
The cast of Le Mans ’66 is easily the best element. Bale and Damon have an excellent rapport. They bounce off each other with the kind of relationship built upon two people who clearly are on the same wavelength. Bale was a particular highlight.
Some of those reasons come in the shape of his family, Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) and his son Peter (Noah Jupe). This family is one that supports each other and the three of them have a wonderfully charming harmony.
It was a hell of a ride
Le Mans ’66 is a brilliant film. The characters are well developed, the cinematography and score perfectly meld to create a visceral experience and most importantly of all, it teaches audiences a story many may not have heard of. I know I didn’t and having learned about the story behind Le Mans ’66 I’m impressed by these figures in racing history.
If there are any issues with Le Mans ’66 is that it is your usual biographical sports drama. It has the usual ups and downs, and it has some of those trope characters who stand in the way of our heroes even though clearly the heroes know best. Ultimately though the predictability is irrelevant when the rest of the elements are working so well.
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