John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection)2018

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018)

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Written and directed by Julien Faraut and narrated by Mathieu Amalric, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION revisits the rich bounty of 16-mm-shot footage of the left-handed tennis star John McEnroe, at the time the world's top-ranked player, as he competes in the French Open at Paris's Roland Garros Stadium in 1984. Close-ups and slow motion sequences of McEnroe competing, as well as instances of his notorious temper tantrums, highlight a "man who played on the edge of his senses." Far from a traditional documentary, Faraut probes the archival film to unpack both McEnroe's attention to the sport and the footage itself, creating a lively and immersive look at a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis and the human body and movement, and finally how these all intersect with cinema itself.

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Critic Reviews for John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

What on paper might be a standard sporting bio-doc, largely relevant only to tennis aficionados or fans of John McEnroe at the height of his powers, instead becomes a lovely meditation on time and movement, dedication and obsession, image and perception.

February 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Game, set, match, even if the win's a tad exhausting.

February 19, 2018 | Full Review…

The documentary's labored juxtapositions create fission, the feel of a director scrambling to dictate the game.

August 17, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Quite simply the greatest tennis film ever made and one of the finest documentaries to honor any sport.

August 11, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Faraut lingers on his subject to show the work put in for each point and the resulting array of human emotion is astonishing.

February 25, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Draws on archive footage, psychology and film theory to present a multi-faceted portrait of a complex man.

February 19, 2018 | Full Review…

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