Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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I enjoyed it. The film is really a Swedish film about Borg with a bit of McEnroe thrown in to try to appeal to an American audience. The Borg stuff is good if you are a tennis fan, but probably doen't have much appeal otherwise. The McEnroe stuff just feels tacked on and is often all about Borg anyway. The McEnroe scenes aren't helped by the fact that whilst most of the parts in the movie are played by real actors who have been chosen based on their abilty to look and act like their real life counterparts, McEnroe is played by a grumpy Shia LaBeouf in a bad wig.
It's the summer of 1980 and Bjorn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) is the top tennis player in the world, dominating the sport both on and off the court. A powerful and rigorously disciplined player, there is only one obstacle in his pursuit of a record-breaking fifth Wimbledon championship: the highly talented but ferociously abrasive young American, John McEnroe (a perfectly cast Shia LaBeouf). With three days until the tournament begins, Borg trains religiously in his lavish Monaco home, aided by his coach and mentor Lennart (Stellan Skarsgard) and girlfriend Mariana Simionescu (Tuva Novotny). But McEnroe's explosive confidence and wrecking-ball persona continue to infiltrate Borg's ice-cool and normally unshakable temperament. With each man the antithesis of the other, both players delve into their formative memories as the climactic tournament draws near and anticipation reaches fever pitch. Visceral and breathlessly tense, the match itself--regarded as one of the greatest of all time--would mark the pinnacle of the 'Fire and Ice' rivalry between Borg and McEnroe; an exhilarating battle of personalities that set the world of tennis alight...
"Borg" or "Borg vs McEnroe" takes me back in time to my youth and those sports moments that made Sweden stand still. In several cases it was when Bjorn Borg played and I will never forget those moments. For me Bjorn Borg is by far one of my favourite sports personalities and will always be. He represents a lot of great memories from when I was young, from funny ads in comic books to fantastic tennis matches. ItÂ´s safe to say that making a film about Wimbledon men's final in 1980, regarded as one of the greatest of all time, between Borg and McEnroe makes a great sports film. As someone else said, "Borg vs McEnroe" intrigues and entertains to the max, filled with emotion, affection and respect. We get to understand the rivalry and the inner psyche of both players and what formed them. The film is very nicely shot and edited and in general so very well made. With this sort of big focus on two sports characters (the film is a true character study) you do need two actors who can enter these real life persons and make you believe that they are Borg and McEnroe. Gudnason is almost a spitting image of Borg and he really plays the role with solid depth and intensity. He is Borg. Shia LaBeouf might not be a total spitting image of McEnroe, but he gives us as well one hell of a committed performance as the tennis player. For once a biopic really intrigues me, then again maybe due to my liking of Bjorn Borg as a sports personality. "Borg vs McEnroe" is a great sports film in my mind. See it.
Trivia: Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe met in a total of 14 matches between 1978-1981.
The young Bjorn Borg is played by Bjorn's real son Leo Borg.
The sportswear (shirts, shorts and tracksuits) worn by the two players in the movie bare no logos/insignia. Presumably a deal could not be struck with the manufacturers Fila (worn by Borg) and Sergio Tacchini (worn by McEnroe) for royalties.
This movie felt like a good recreation of the rivalry between the two players. Shia LeBeouf played very well the angry young kid, it was the perfect role for him and he did deliver on my expectations. The rest of the actors did outstanding as well on every single emotional scene and frustrating tension scenes to. The cinematography was amazing as and the director really knew what he was doing. Simply everything works perfectly. Humor, pacing, visuals and sound effects, screen writing etc. The plot is simple, but the way it's presented makes it valuable and if you do not know the outcome of the match the movie can even surprise you.
Overall it's an amazing movie with a very good message and perfectly working components but you need patients with it that is why won't get a 10.
Tremendous pressure in somewhat audiences and viewers called a game with ease.
Fascinating and compelling although mostly for those aware of the Wimbledon in question #DVDNation #ad
This is the story of two obsessive-compulsive 1970s sports icons, when professional tennis players were rock-stars. Both Borg & McEnroe were self-motivated, focused, driven competitors, misunderstood and both revered and disliked for similar reasons. Tennis is a solitary sport, w/ players fighting against the lines which contain the match, the net, judges, and opponents, all conspiring to keep the ball from going back over the net. The scenery, themes, costumes, and the actors played their parts just as I remembered them including Peter, Ilie, Arthur, Jimmy and Vitas as side cartoons in comparison with the eponymous titans of this tough-minded sporting film. The fact that these men were unlikable causes the viewer to get bored about halfway through the biopic; their narcissism is repelling, despite their superstar abilities, and the fact that their pursuit of perfection transcends tennis. But it makes you wish for a movie about Arnold Palmer, or Lee Trevino?! However, as the ending nears and the finals of Wimbledon approach, tension builds in each unique warrior. This is what they lived their entire (short) lives to do, and they will be judged by one match. No one will remember how many titles Borg won in a row; only if he beat McEnroe in the match of the decade. Ultimately, McEnroe is remembered for being a "bad-boy" but Borg will always be called the machine. It was interesting to see Borg's humanity played out from his childhood flashbacks (similar to Tonya Harding, another tortured star played by Margot Robbie). The RT #tomatometer ratings are lower for this film b/c it merely portrays a simple "tennis" story, with the variants in drama ancillary only to the conclusion, which is the long final match. There are side topics of coaching, parenting, adolescent anger management, marketing, love relationships, friendships broken, mental health, European cultures, loneliness, press coverage, obsession, the nature of fame, and obviously youth sports; however, without a passing interest in the peak of professional tennis in the 70-80s era, one's attention wanders until they finally "get into it" on London's Centre Court. Love tennis, love the movie. Digging deeper into how these men ultimately blended together psychologically to make the climactic decisive match one for sports history is vital to scoring this film more than 4-****
Good telling of a true story. I remember the game and this movie tells the back story.
Champion mind probe.
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.
Good movie, and surprisingly so. Seeing Shia LaBeouf in the credits, as McEnroe, made me set my expectations quite low. However, it turned out to be an interesting and exciting movie.
What made the movie good was that it is not a dry, join-the-dots docudrama. There is character development, showing Borg and McEnroe's backgrounds, how their sporting mentalities and personas were formed and how these influence, to the point of determining, their game. Very engaging.
The choice of rivalry contributes to the engagement of the movie. There could not have been more opposite rivals in the world of sport. Borg: the ice-cold, emotionless base-line player. McEnroe: the temperamental, irascible, serve-and-volleyer. The contrast, and how their personalities affect their game, makes for enthralling viewing.
I'm no tennis expert, but the tennis scenes seem very well done and realistic. Also, the mental side of playing sport at the highest level is covered fairly well.
Good performances from Sverrir Gudnason as Borg and Shia LeBeouf as McEnroe. Good support from Stellan Skarsgard and Tuva Novotny.
On the negative side, the coverage of Borg's mental side state seems overwrought and slows down the momentum of the movie. Yes, it was necessary, actually vitally important, to the movie, as it showed the pressure Borg was under and the downsides to fame and being the world Number 1 (at anything). It also provides a good explanation to what would happen later in Borg's career. However, too much of the movie is showing how Borg wrestles with these demons - we got it the first time round, no need to repeat it several times.
In addition, the focus appears mostly on Borg. McEnroe's background is sketched very basically. A bit more balance was necessary.
Exceptional Casting and all around great film.