It is the 1980 Wimbledon tennis championship. Bjorn Borg is the number 1 tennis player in the world and the undisputed king of Wimbledon. He has won the tournament four times in a row - a fifth consecutive time would be a world first. However, a new face has appeared in the tennis world and presents a serious threat to Borg's title hopes - John McEnroe.Written by
The grass surface of the Centre Court is too green and intact. In reality the surface is worn out after two weeks of play and is mostly light brown or yellow in color rather than fresh green. See more »
You can't be serious! You can not be serious! The ball was on the line! Chalk flew all over, man. The chalk flew up! He saw it. That's why he's walking all over it. Everyone saw it was in. You cannot possibly call that out.
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I was fortunate enough to see "Borg McEnroe (2017)" on opening night for the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival. Without giving away too much (especially if you're like me and you didn't know much about this 1980s tennis rivalry coming into it), I will say that this is a fabulous film and everyone involved in the making of it should give themselves a huge pat on the back. They have done an incredible job in crafting a story that successfully explores, analyzes and pays homage to two contrasting albeit equally fascinating personalities in sports history.
Both of the titular characters are played to perfection thanks to virtuoso performances from Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, the latter of whom was practically made for the role. Regardless of what you think about Shia, his commitment to any role is always awe- inspiring and here he gives a performance that so perfectly combines loud-mouthed arrogance with an icy determination that he actually makes it difficult for you to route against him. He creates a fascinating character alongside the calm, cool and collected persona of Björn Borg, played exquisitely well by Gudnason. Another performance that deserves a mention is that of Stellan Skarsgård, whose quiet loyalty really helps to anchor the film in the more pivotal emotional moments.
In a lot of ways this film reminded me of "Rush (2013)", another excellent film that deftly explored an iconic sports rivalry and how each athlete helped to shape the other. Like Rush, "Borg McEnroe (2017)" transcends the sport at hand to become an exploration of human suffering, resilience and, ultimately, redemption. Aside from the themes at hand, the technical brilliance of the film completely grabs your attention and never lets go until the final frame. In what is the first full-feature length film of Janus Metz, he creates a film that perfectly captures a game-changing moment in sports history and the contrasting personalities of the men who changed it.
I really enjoyed this film and encourage anyone reading this to go see it!
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