Le Mans ’66 (2019) A Review

Cineworld’s Secret Screening last night. And I am glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.  Will definitely be on my top 10 of 2019


DIRECTOR: James Mangold

STARRING: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe

SCREENPLAY: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth

GENRE: Action, Biopic

RUNTIME: 152 Mins

★★★★ 4.5 Star

The initial description of this film did not draw me to it at all.  As with all sports related films, I was not enthused to spend 2 and a half hours watching a movie about racing.  But boy was I wrong.  From the moment I watched the trailer I knew that this wasn’t going to be your typical sports biopic.

American Car maker Carroll Shelby enlists the help of race car driver Ken Miles, when he promises to design for Ford, a race car that will beat Ferrari at the 24 hour race at Le Mans.  They face set backs from corporate interference, personal dramas and manufacturing hiccups.  All of which climaxes in the nail biting final race at Le Mans. 

This film was just as good as the trailer made it out to be. Yes it did a great job of telling the story it wanted to tell.  We are taken through the whole process of the team getting the car ready for Le Mans. On it’s own however would have been a little dry.  Instead Mangold has interspersed the amazing storytelling, with quick-witted comedy moments.  No entire sequences, just one or two lines here and there, which make all the characters, but Bale  ‘s character in particular, so likeable.  You want them to succeed.  Movies like this don’t work, lf you don’t root for the underdog. And this whole story is the tale of the proverbial underdog.

The racing scenes in this film are heart pounding and beautifully shot, just like the rest of the film.  I went into this film a complete racing novice, and I don’t think any of the film was wasted on me because of my lack of knowledge.  It is perfectly OK for a novice to watch; I didn’t feel lost at any time.

So this film may not have been one of my first choices, but I am so glad I gave it a chance, it is a fantastically funny biopic, and I think more people should give this one a shot.

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