The racing driver biopic even sweeps people away who otherwise have nothing to do with the sport – despite the lack of women. Our film tip
This film will most certainly not pass the Bechdel test. Apart from Caitriona Balfe as the wife of the legendary racing driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), this racing drama is purely a man’s business. Women in motorsport in the 1960s were not even intended to be decorative pit sluts. And so everything revolves around friendship between men, machos and motors. In 1979, the 24-hour race in Le Mans, France, was the subject of a feature film.
In his racing drama, “Walk the Line” director James Mangolds tells of real biographies and conflicts: of the US car maker Ford, who wants to polish up the brand image with his entry into motorsport, and the engineer Carrol Shelby (Matt Damon), who would like to achieve the first victory for Ford together with Miles. And then even intrigues within the team have to be survived. Sure, the family scenes with Caitriona Balfe are supposed to add a human background, but they remain formulaic accessories. This biopic lives from the power struggle and the unconditional passion of men for their racing cars – and this becomes understandable even for cinema viewers who actually don’t know what to do with this type of sport. The highlight, however, are the gripping and dynamically filmed racing scenes, which are underlaid with a driving, jazzed score. (ascho)
August 15, 2021 // Matthias Jordan