Review for Le Mans '66
Carroll Shelby is the only American to have ever won the Le Mans 24 Hour race and with business suffering he is hired by Ford to design a car that would win this race that had been dominated by Ferrari. Shelby wants his driver to be Ken Miles. He is a British driver and engineer, who rubs everyone up the wrong way, but behind a steering wheel is one of the best. Together they must fight the corporate politics played by Ford pencil pushers and also the try and do the impossible and create a Ford car that would win Le Mans.
I am always in two minds about true-life films about things I know nothing about. On one hand, I don't know the outcome and so unlike a film based on the 1966 World Cup, I didn't know what was going to happen in this film. However, I do sometimes worry because I have no real interest in racing and previous films such as Days of Thunder and Rush did nothing for me and I did not enjoy them at all.
This film however hits two home runs early on with the casting of Matt Damon as Shelby and Christian Bale as Miles. Both are perfect in their roles and it is almost like there are two films going on, the story of Shelby trying to deal with all the insane politics of Ford and Miles attempts to stop being such a hard person to work with. Revolving around this story is a fascinating look at how they create the vehicle.
On the DVD the lack of Special Features is a lttle disappointing, especially with those involved and the story itself. There is a documentary on the Blu-ray and I don't see why this could not have been on here. Due to this, the film has to stand on its own merit which is thankfully a pole position for this movie.
Le Mans 66 is a fantastic film which definitely deserved its Best Picture Oscar nomination and in regards to winning Best Editing and Sound Editing, these are both fantastic and I am glad that a film which really knew how to weave a story and action together was given these awards. If you are a fan of racing then you will love the excitement that this film provides and if you do not know the story then you will love it even more. This is a film worthy of First Place on the podium.