Wimbledon, 1980. John McEnroe (Shia LeBeouf) has reached the final of the men’s singles, despite his short temper with umpires and growing public unpopularity. Facing off against McEnroe is the seemingly unstoppable Björn Borg (an uncanny Sverrir Gudnason).
Director Janus Metz’s Borg vs McEnroe may well be inspired by the real tennis rivalry, but those all-important words ‘inspired by’ allows the events to service the story – not the other way around. Tennis on screen is famously dull, but this is one of the most cinematic films of the year, with an especially gorgeously composed aerial shot of the court repeated in key moments of the film. The structure, too, is effective in crafting drama. Set in the days running up to the Wimbledon match, their journeys are told in flashback, juxtaposing the players’ fire and ice public personas with their shared drive to win.
For the full review, head to CineVue.