Breathtaking clash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

For car racing enthusiasts, the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans remains marked with a white stone. Henry Ford II came to dethrone, to everyone’s surprise, the supremacy of Enzo Ferrari on his own ground. He managed to hoist on the three steps of the podium his new GT 40 which would reign supreme for years. The competition on the track was the culmination of a war that had lasted behind the scenes for four years. Epic confrontation on the mythical circuit where cars threw themselves at more than 300 km / h, without escape, where the pilots flirted with death, sometimes rushing there.

→ CRITICAL. “Le Mans 66”: spectacular reconstruction of a breathless clash

Director James Mangold focuses on the haphazard elaboration of this speed thoroughbred that two madmen, Carroll Shelby, ingenious spirit, and Ken Miles, adventurous pilot, imposed on the American manufacturer, then at bay. Just as breathless as the race, the preparation for this great moment, with its failures, its gropings, its doubts and its renouncements forms the fascinating backbone of this spectacular reconstruction.

The spectator held in suspense

Two great actors stand out in this challenge of all extremes: Matt Damon as an unwavering strategist, and Christian Bale, sharp, the eyes sharp, intuitive pilot, champion of exception, excessive, uncompromising, elusive and unpredictable. The director also abuses the quirks of American cinema, grandiloquence, easy emotion, ridiculous procedures of grown-up children (pilots who at full speed measure themselves and insult each other, as if the concentration and the shrill hiss of the engines allowed this type of conversation. virile), very supported game of characters cut with an ax, and obligatory family melodrama.

→ PORTRAIT. Moto GP: Fabio Quartararo, a champion with Mediterranean accents

However, despite its inherent flaws in this type of cinema, Le Mans 66 takes guts. We cling to the story, to our armchair, and the suspense, however stale for ages, holds in suspense. Just like the portrait of this friendship on the razor’s edge.


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