Real Life Racing

Name: Le Mans ’66 / Ford V. Ferrari
Genre: Action
Year: 2019

A film I wouldn’t usually pick to go and watch, but a surprisingly entertaining secret cinema screening showed the legendary 1960s Ford 24 hour Le Mans victory. Focusing on the famous real life story of Ken Miles (Christian Bale) and Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and their struggles to beat Ferrari. 

Knowing nothing about the real life event, the movie brought excitement and unexpected emotional high speed turns. The strong passion of the men behind the wheels was portrayed just as dynamic as the powerful machines they drive. With two talented actors playing the racing legends, the movie felt like a mighty powerful vehicle and I expect it will have a good run through the cinemas.

The strong emotional narrative delivered the undertones of a historical and dramatic story to its full accuracy. In the 1960s, the racing world was dominated by Ferrari and they were untouchable, building and racing the fastest most powerful cars. But there was one company that wants to dethrone the Italians and produce a car that would beat Ferrari, Ford Motor Company. At the time this seemed a big stretch and a joke to the public, but they proved everyone wrong.  

The film invites a quick viewing investment into mix bag of characters, providing interesting dynamics and relationships ranging from competitive drivers and businessmen, ambitious friends and loving family life. The focus figure is Miles who is tackling financial issues with his wife and son reaching breaking point, considering giving up racing. But when his friend Shelby offers him an opportunity of a lifetime, his luck turns around and his perseverance proves his worth as he becomes a golden gem asset to the Ford team. Throughout the film a strong message of never giving up is in the roots of the story and shows how powerful that is in real life. 

The portrait of Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) shows a man dedicated to quality, prestige and class like a king on his throne looking down on the peasants which was Ford. He didn’t believe anyone or anything would knock him off his throne. Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) is fantastic as the man who overthrows the throne, proving that the little man can make a difference. But the Ford company wasn’t full of heroes – his ruthless protege Lee Lacocca corrupted the company trying to get Miles off the team from the start to protect the ‘image of the company’. 

Shelby and Miles overcame many speed bumps during the creation of the Ford supercar, with both characters showing their hot-headedness and crazy passion for the racing world nothing would stop them competing and achieving their goal. With an emotional end to the film, Shelby shows his weakness and emotion perfectly making the audience feel every inch closer to crying.  

Throughout the film Bale and Damon enthusiastically immerse themselves in the colourful characters they play. Overall I think that the film and the actors did justice of the true event between Ford and Ferrari. Would recommend this film to anyone – as I’m not one to pick historical films or racing films, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

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