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Borg vs McEnroe review – a five-set thriller of a film

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Sverrir Gudnason is superb as the ice-cool Swede struggling to contain a cauldron of emotion – and Shia Labeouf’s not bad either as his voluble opponent

A tale of sporting rivalry is given a brooding, introspective Scandinavian twist by Janus Metz, hitherto best known for his award-winning documentary Armadillo. Stoic, seemingly unflappable Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and volatile, temperamental brat John McEnroe (Shia Labeouf) competed for the Wimbledon title in 1980. On paper, it was a clash of opposites. But in fact, this film argues that the two men had more in common than anyone suspected at the time. Ice-man Borg, the main focus of this film, was in fact a volcano; his obsession with detail, his superstitions, were all part of the meticulous control mechanism he constructed to prevent the eruptions of anger that so tarnished McEnroe’s early reputation.

Whether or not you know the outcome, this is a cracking watch. »

- Wendy Ide

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Key West Film Festival Works to Rebuild Community After Destruction of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

20 September 2017 10:31 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

While the major venues of the Key West Film Festival luckily made it through both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with little damage, the rest of the community the festival calls home did not. To that end, the annual event — which bills itself as “Passion Meets Paradise” — is working towards assisting in rebuilding efforts around the Key West area.

In a new call for action, the festival’s Founder and Chairman A. Brooke Christian, recalls why Key West inspired the festival to begin with, sharing, “Six years ago, we committed to Key West to host our film festival because of the vibrancy and tenacity of its people. And in this time of great adversity, that strength and resilience is more powerful than ever. But recovery and rehabilitation will not come easily. It will require an incredible amount of assistance and outside support. I implore you to do what you can to help… »

- Kate Erbland

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Game, set and spats… a grand slam of tennis movies

17 September 2017 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Shia Labeouf as John McEnroe go head-to-head this autumn. Our critic plays umpire

Tennis addicts can rest easy – in the sense of staying up all night to watch tennis. Somewhere in the world an important tournament is under way and on subscription TV. The less seriously committed are faced with the long inter-slam drought between the Us and Australian Opens. Fortunately palliatives are at hand in the form of two movies, Battle of the Sexes and Borg vs McEnroe.

The first film is about the 1973 match between Billie Jean King and the self-proclaimed male chauvinist pig and former world No 1 Bobby Riggs; the second focuses on the 1980 Wimbledon final. They are linked by the way that in 2000 Donald Trump offered John McEnroe a million dollars to play either of the Williams sisters at one of his hotels. As McEnroe recounted in his 2002 autobiography Serious, »

- Geoff Dyer

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Toronto: Neon, 30West Land ‘I, Tonya’ With Margot Robbie

11 September 2017 9:57 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Neon and 30West have nabbed domestic rights to “I, Tonya,” a dark comedy about Olympic skater Tonya Harding. The deal was signed out of the Toronto Film Festival, where the film premiered over the weekend. It is in the $5 million range.

The big draw here is star Margot Robbie, who plays Harding, a gold medal hopeful whose career was derailed after her ex-husband cooked up a scheme to hobble Nancy Kerrigan. There’s some chatter that Robbie could end up in the awards race, but other potential buyers who looked at the picture thought it had only limited commercial appeal. Netflix, CBS Films, and Annapurna had kicked the tires on the picture at various points in a bidding process that never got as hot as the agents and producers thought it would. CBS Films had bid $6 million prior to the screening, but lowered the bid to $2 million after the film showed, according to an insider. »

- Brent Lang

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Lady Gaga, Margot Robbie, Jason Sudeikis and More Spotted at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

8 September 2017 6:09 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing. The festival just started on Sept. 7 and runs until Sept. 17, but there have already been several celebrity sightings. Shia Labeouf and Sverrir Gudnason hit the red carpet on the first day of the festival to promote their film Borg/McEnroe, a film about the 1980 Wimbledon Championship match between tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe. Quantico's Priyanka Chopra was another early arrival and wore a pink Fendi ensemble to the premiere of Pahuna: The Little Visitors. The film, which she produced, is about three Nepalese children who get separated from their parents while entering Sikkim and their »

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Toronto Opener ‘Borg/McEnroe’ Serves Up Psychological Drama And The Shia Labeouf “Role Of A Lifetime” – Toronto Studio

8 September 2017 3:02 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

At the finals of Wimbledon in 1980, two men—a placid, methodical swede, Björn Borg, and a vocal, emotional American, John McEnroe—went head to head in a grudge-match that is still on the minds of every fan of the sport. The events that shaped these two men are played out in Janus Metz’s Borg/McEnroe, which opened the Toronto Film Festival last night and set the stage for a festival surprisingly heavy in tennis movies (Battle of the Sexes is the one another, but they’re a… »

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‘Borg/McEnroe’ Review: You May As Well Make ‘Pong: The Movie’ | Tiff 2017

8 September 2017 6:16 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

I’m sure when Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe faced each other at the 1980 Wimbledon match, it was astonishing to watch, and to the credit of director Janus Metz, he draws you into the intensity of that showdown when the game finally begins. Unfortunately, the entirety of Borg/McEnroe is pitched at the level of a myth, and the problem with adapting real-life sports is that the mythic status already falls into place. There are winners and losers based on athletic accomplishment. You don’t have to work too hard to distinguish a good sporting event from a … »

- Matt Goldberg

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Tiff 2017: ‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ Reaction

8 September 2017 5:10 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

The Hollywood News is back at the Toronto International Film Festival, and we’re also back with some new reaction videos. We’re off and running with our very first one with Stefan Pape, reviews editor at, and reviewing the opening film of Tiff, Borg vs. McEnroe.

Borg vs. McEnroe is a film about one of the world’s greatest icons Björn Borg and his biggest rival, the young and talented John McEnroe and their legendary duel during the 1980’s Wimbledon tournament. It’s a story about two men who changed the face of tennis and who became legends and the price they had to pay.

We’ve reviewed the film in full over here, but for something a little more light-hearted, do check out our video below.

The post Tiff 2017: ‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ Reaction appeared first on The Hollywood News. »

- Paul Heath

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Toronto Film Festival Kicks Off With Shia Labeouf Channeling John McEnroe

8 September 2017 4:06 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“Tennis anyone?”

With those words and a gesture to his sneakers, artistic director Cameron Bailey kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday night. Bailey took the stage at the Roy Thomson Hall for the gala premiere of “Borg/McEnroe,” a dissection of the famed rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

It’s a film that’s more interested in the agony rather than the ecstasy of the sport. “Borg/McEnroe” is also notable for offering a meaty role for Shia Labeouf, a bad boy of cinema, who plays McEnroe, a player fabled for his short fuse on the court. While calling the cast to the stage, Bailey said McEnroe was a “a role [Labeouf] was born to play.”


Toronto Film Review: Shia Labeouf in ‘Borg/McEnroe

In a press conference earlier in the day, Labeouf copped to his similarities with the hot-tempered tennis legend. Seemingly referencing Labeouf’s troubles with the law, which »

- Brent Lang

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‘Call Me By Your Name’ Steals Tiff 2017 Opening Night Buzz

7 September 2017 11:22 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The official opening night film for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival was “Borg/McEnroe.” Despite a unique tennis story and the kitsch factor of Shia Labeouf playing John McEnroe (perhaps a little too on the nose), the were hardly any buzz from Roy Thompson Hall which was filled mostly by festival sponsors.  Instead, social media and the rest of the festival was ablaze over the Tiff premiere of “Call Me By Your Name” which earned rave reviews at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in January (you can read mine here).

Continue reading ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Steals Tiff 2017 Opening Night Buzz at The Playlist. »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Opening-Night Premieres ‘Borg/McEnroe’ And ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Are A Love Match As Toronto Gets Underway

7 September 2017 11:21 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

The Toronto Film Festival kicked off tonight with the world premiere of Borg/McEnroe, the Neon 2018 release that centers on the Wimbledon final of all Wimbledon finals in 1980 between Bjorn Borg going for his fifth men’s singles title there vs outspoken upstart John McEnroe. But at this packed festival it isn’t enough to have just one opening-night movie, there have to be at least two or three. So it was, with a number of films including the excellent On Chesil… »

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Toronto: 'Borg/McEnroe' Director Calls Shia Labeouf "My Secret Lover" as Festival Opens

7 September 2017 7:10 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The Toronto Film Festival kicked off Thursday night with Borg/McEnroe, a Swedish-made drama about the 1980 showdown at Wimbledon between brash American John McEnroe and cool Swede Bjorn Borg.

Director Janus Metz took to the Roy Thomson Hall stage to welcome his cast, led by Sverrir Gudnason, who plays Borg, Stellan Skarsgard and Shia Labeouf (McEnroe). Metz jokingly introduced Labeouf as "someone who has become very dear to me during this production, my friend, my brother, my secret lover, my bulldog, and my baby child."

The director also hailed his movie as a psychological thriller about "two people driving each »

- Etan Vlessing

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Tiff Review: ‘Borg/McEnroe’ Targets Turmoil More Than Tennis

7 September 2017 6:00 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Juan Martin del Potro just ruined the match-up everyone wanted to see at the 2017 Us Open—a semi-final pitting Rafa Nadal against Roger Federer. Despite both being in their thirties, their rivalry has never stopped. What’s intriguing, however, is how amiable it has always been (or seemed to be). With the quieter Pete Sampras and emotional Andre Agassi a generation earlier, the same was true despite their differing personalities and server versus returner billing. You could call the former a product of the latter and the latter a product of the explosive combat before them between “ice cold” Björn Borg and New York “superbrat” John McEnroe. The glaring difference of course is that their iconic war was augmented off-court by the media. It may have only really lasted two years, but the effect it had on the sport of tennis was permanent.

Danish director (of documentary Armadillo fame) Janus Metz »

- Jared Mobarak

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‘Borg/McEnroe’: Tennis Drama Serves Up Volley Instead Of Smash [Tiff Review]

7 September 2017 5:49 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It’s one of the greatest matches the tennis world has ever seen, held appropriately in The Cathedral, where devotees of the sport come to worship. Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe, the rebel versus the gentleman, in a championship that shook off the notion that tennis was purely for the civilized. For one weekend in July of 1980, the world was riveted as two titans played a match that decades later stands as a towering spectacle.

Continue reading ‘Borg/McEnroe’: Tennis Drama Serves Up Volley Instead Of Smash [Tiff Review] at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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‘Borg/McEnroe’ Toronto Review: Shia Labeouf Tennis Movie Mixes Backhands With Psychoanalysis

7 September 2017 4:29 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

It’s safe to say that “Borg/McEnroe,” which opened the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday night, makes its ambitions clear from the start. The film from director Janus Metz opens with a title-card quote from Andre Agassi (who otherwise has nothing to do with this particular tennis story) that concludes, “Every match is a life in miniature.” Make that two lives in miniature, because “Borg/McEnroe” sets out to encapsulate the troubled journeys of tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe within one epic match. That came in the 1980 Wimbledon final, when the emotionless Swede was going for a record. »

- Steve Pond

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Toronto Film Review: Shia Labeouf in ‘Borg/McEnroe’

7 September 2017 4:23 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Borg McEnroe” is the story of one of the great tennis rivalries of all time, between Swedish efficiency expert Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and explosive American underdog John McEnroe (Shia Labeouf), as defending champion Borg competes for his record-breaking fifth Wimbledon title. But it also is the backstory of one of the great tennis friendships, and for someone like me who knew nothing about the match in question (and cared less about who won), that twist — revealed practically in overtime, after the film has effectively ended — made me want to go right back in and watch the movie a second time.

As in competing tennis picture “The Battle of the Sexes” (which seems a far more commercial prospect, in the U.S. at least, given its added political dimension and likable lead actors), director Janus Metz’s stylish, Scandi-made behind-the-scenes sports movie builds to an extended on-court showdown — in this case, a virtuoso, »

- Peter Debruge

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Tiff 2017: ‘Borg McEnroe’ Review: Dir. Janus Metz (2017)

7 September 2017 4:09 PM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Borg McEnroe review: Filmmaker Janus Metz serves up Sverrig Gudnason and Shia Labeouf as the tow legendary tennis players in the film which opens the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Borg McEnroe review, by Paul Heath.

The choice to screen Borg McEnroe as the opening film of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is certainly an odd one, especially following last year’s star-studded The Magnificent 7, but after viewing this part-biopic sports drama for the first time, all becomes clear. A definite crowd-pleaser, this Scandinavian production is well crafted and ticks all of the right boxes, but when the viewer has knowledge of the outcome of the famous rivalry from the 1980s, does one’s satisfaction level fall short of the mark?

There are two names in the title of this drama, but the story certainly favours the former tennis legend more heavily than the latter. Sverrig Gudnason assumes the role of Bjorn Borg, »

- Paul Heath

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‘Borg/McEnroe’ Review: Shia Labeouf Is a Mad Genius, But This Tennis Drama Offers Nothing Else to Love

7 September 2017 3:04 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Shia Labeouf is hardly a dead ringer for a young John McEnroe — he looks more like one of Royal Tenenbaum’s grandchildren than anything else — but it’s hard to imagine anyone more perfect for the part. As a rising superstar in the early ’80s, the hotheaded McEnroe was as famous for his mid-match tantrums as he was for his tennis. He was one of the most gifted natural talents the game had ever seen, but he would erupt at a moment’s notice, self-destructing on some of the world’s biggest stages.

The parallels between McEnroe and the volatile young actor who plays him in “Borg/McEnroe” are obvious enough to make themselves, but the saving grace of Janus Metz’s relentlessly self-serious sports drama is that the film doesn’t take its casting for granted — it refuses to rest on the meta-textual fun of watching one explosive celebrity play another. »

- David Ehrlich

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'Borg/McEnroe': Film Review | Tiff 2017

7 September 2017 2:19 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

It was "the IceBorg versus the SuperBrat," in the eyes of the world: the 1980 Wimbledon final pitting Björn Borg, a four-time champion who never lost his cool in a game, against John McEnroe, who seemingly couldn't keep his cool in a walk-in freezer with Isaac Hayes on his headphones. Janus Metz's Borg/McEnroe paints a very different picture, diving into both men's psyches to find them all but identical, differing only in their outward manifestations of relentless pressure. An acting-forward sports film capable of engaging viewers who don't know their 30-loves from their birdies or hat tricks, it has mainstream »

- John DeFore

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Shia Labeouf Surprises by Channeling Borg, Not McEnroe, at Toronto Press Conference

7 September 2017 1:38 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Shia Labeouf’s first public appearance since his July arrest, and subsequent racist meltdown, played more like a game of leisurely doubles than a pressure-cooker press conference. But there he was on Thursday, at the kick-off media huddle for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival where his drama “Borg/McEnroe” serves as the opening gala screening. Donning what we’ll call a sporty running jacket, Labeouf appeared alongside his director, Janus Metz, and co-stars Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgård to discuss the film, about the legendary 1980s tennis rivalry between brash American John McEnroe and the calm Swede Bjorn Borg. Also Read: Shia Labeouf Apologizes. »

- Matt Donnelly

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