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Le Mans ’66

Matt Damon and Christian Bale give an acting masterclass in James Mangold’s (Logan, Walk the Line) study of a friendship that shaped 1960s motor racing.

Dir James Mangold
Prod Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, James Mangold
Scr Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller, James Mangold
With Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts
USA-France
2019
152min
UK Distribution Twentieth Century Fox
With partial English subtitles (some scenes are not in the English language)

After being forced to quit a highly decorated motor racing career for health reasons, Carroll Shelby (Damon) turned to car designing. A legend in this world, having been one of the few Americans to win the gruelling 24-hour marathon at Le Mans, Shelby was hired by Ford Motor Company, who were looking to rejuvenate an outmoded brand and build a race car capable of taking on world champions Ferrari. While Shelby had the American charm that Ford wanted associated with their brand, they weren’t so sure about Shelby’s favoured driver, the notoriously ill-tempered Limey rebel Ken Miles (Bale). Working from an excellent script by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller and the director himself, Mangold hooks you from the first scene and never lets go. He’s brilliant at burning up the tracks with dynamic, hair-raising race scenes, while engaging us with the moving exploration of a friendship that fought corporate interference to build a revolutionary car that gave Ford a racing chance at Le Mans in 1966. It’s a thrill to see a fearless driver, strapped inside an elegantly designed tin can. And though this is an absolute must for car enthusiasts, you don’t have to be a racing fan to care about those putting their lives and reputations at risk. An instant classic, Le Mans ’66 is a buddy movie with heaps of old school Hollywood charm.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • James Mangold, director; Caitriona Balfe, cast; Noah Jupe, cast.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

All screenings are accessible screenings for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. The film has an audio-description soundtrack, and headphones are available on request.


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