Viewed – 13 April 2020. Online rental
Aka Le Mans ‘66.
Although good casting does not guarantee a great movie, here we have two of Hollywood’s best as real-life motor racing icons Caroll Shelby and Ken Miles in the at-the-time unbelievable true story of how American motor company Ford went up against motor racing giants Ferrari in the epic 24hr Le Mans race.
Matt Damon plays retired racing champ and car designer Shelby who gets approached by the big wigs at Ford who see the potential to liven up their brand by entering the racing circuit. However they feel less appalled by the wild card that is Ken Miles, played by a brilliant Christian Bale. However Shelby is committed to Miles being the guy to race and plans on delivering a car that will beat Ferrari at their own game. This was absorbing and fascinating stuff. I can’t say I’m familiar with the events depicted but with assured direction and two solid performances, I found myself fully invested. The friendship between Shelby and Miles as well as the relationship between Miles and his son give this the emotional weight to aid the racing … and between exhilarating and viscerally-edited racing we get some great character moments that are both emotionally driven and at time’s comical.
I’d have liked a bit more detail on just how the iconic Ford GT40 came to be (it just sort of appears), and a significant moment towards the end is rather down-played, lacking the impact it deserved. However none of this detracted from what is a thoroughly engaging true story that I can easily say is a must-watch.