“Le Mans 66 – Against every chance”
Christian Bale and Matt Damon jet into free TV
Christian Bale and Matt Damon are in a rush of speed in “Le Mans 66”. The drama celebrates its fast-paced free TV premiere.
In 2019, director James Mangold (57, “Walk the Line”) dedicated his own film to the traditional 24-hour race with “Le Mans 66 – Against Any Chance”. On August 15 (8:15 p.m., ProSieben) the strip, which is based on real events, will celebrate its premiere on free TV. The two Oscar winners Christian Bale (47, “The Fighter”) and Matt Damon (50, “Good Will Hunting”) shine in the leading roles as a dream duo in the intoxication of speed.
An unconventional motorsport story
In 1959, Carroll Shelby (Damon) is at the height of his career. He has just won the most difficult of all car races, the Le Mans 24 Hours. His greatest triumph was followed by devastating news: a serious heart condition prevented him from continuing his racing career. Shelby then reinvents himself as a car designer and salesman. He also brings test driver Ken Miles (Bale) into his workforce. The British racing ace is a family man, brilliant behind the wheel, but at the same time rude, arrogant and incapable of compromise.
When Shelby competed with the venerable Enzo Ferrari with his vehicles at Le Mans, the Ford Motor Company took the visionary under contract and commissioned him to build the ultimate racing car: a car that would beat the Ferraris on the ruthless French racetrack. Shelby, Miles and their crew take up the challenge. In doing so, they have to deal with massive interference on the part of their clients, have to defy physical laws and fight their own demons. The efforts are taking their toll.
An acting ensemble in top form
Motorsport fans can look forward to fast-paced driving sequences, exciting tinkering with the racing cars and interesting insights behind the scenes at Le Mans – at a time when technology was not as advanced as it is today. But the focus of “Le Mans 66 – Against Any Chance” is the special friendship between Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. They harmonize perfectly as an unequal duo and prove: opposites attract. The two actors prove once again impressively why they belong to the top league of Hollywood.
Before filming, Christian Bale had to lose the pounds that he had previously put on for his role as Dick Cheney in “Vice – The Second Man” (2018), in a very short time. Again slim he mimes the hot-blooded test driver Ken Miles with full fervor. It is a pleasure to watch him arguing with Damons Shelby or his film wife Mollie, played by “Outlander” star Caitriona Balfe (41). Bale manages to transfer his emotions to the viewer, so that you share the excitement with him every second and share his enthusiasm.
As Carroll Shelby, Matt Damon is the ideal antithesis to Bale. Where Bale’s role is impulsive and stubborn, Damon’s character is level-headed and insightful. But in the decisive moments, his heart is in the right place. The two drive each other to perform at their best.
Those who can’t do anything with Formula 1 and Co. will still get their money’s worth with “Le Mans 66 – Against Every Chance”. With Christian Bale, Matt Damon and Co., a first-class acting ensemble is at the start, with which one is excited at every second. Surprising twists also let the emotions boil up. There is no trace of boredom, instead there is tension until the end. Even if 15 to 20 minutes less running time would have done it, the film is a perfect home theater.