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Friday, January 31, 2020

The Man of Le Mans

Steve McQueen has only a few lines of dialogue in Lee H. Katzin's Le Mans, and most of his screen time is spent behind the wheel of his race car. And yet, he's extremely compelling and believable as a man who must race, because for him, it's what makes life worth living. It's a message he communicates in one quiet conversation with a racing widow, and one reinforced by his eyes, his body language, and his ineffable, enigmatic charisma.

The racing sequences are spectacular, particularly the crashes, which are visceral, shocking, and put you right in the action alongside the unfortunate drivers. Great visceral thrills in a film that is at the same time somehow quiet, contemplative, and steadily placed. There are strange contradictions in this film, but it's a winner nonetheless. 

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