The rainy summer of 1980. The young, uber-popular tennis Legend Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) is aiming for his fifth consecutive Wimbledon win - an unheard-of achievement in itself. But he has a formidable rival from across the big pond - John McEnroe, an uncontrolled bad boy nobody really likes (Shia LaBeouf).
Also starring, Swedish and international screen legend Stellan Skarsgård as Borg's long-time coach and mentor, Tuva Novotny as tennis star and Borg's future wife Mariana Simionescu, Scott Arthur, Jackson Gann, Leo Borg, Marcus Mossberg.
I am sure that sports history is full of great rivalries and moments, but "Borg McEnroe" has been brought to screen with such freshness, candor and fervor that it must be rare even in the long history of sports movies.
The story is about the shadow side of one of the greatest matches in tennis history, in the beginning of the 80's when tennisists were comparable to rockstars. It's a enjoyable sports movie but not for any of the "traditional" reasons that one would expect.
It's great because of the gripping atmosphere, fiery performances and - last but not least - the fact that in its black black heart, "B/E" is anything but a sports movie.
Yes, it's about the legendary tennis match, but the Danish director Janus Metz has not been interested in offering just another account of great sportsmanship.
It's a thriller, character study for both eponymous tennis stars, or even all of the major characters listed above, horror, social satire, but it's not about sport per se. It's about the human element, the existential dimension, in sport, and that's what makes it a great sports movie.
"Borg McEnroe" does for sports movies that "Steve Jobs" did for business movies - both feel like action thriller, intense, violent, and always on the edge.
The only difference is that "B/E" has a lot less dialogue, concentrating on the silence before the storm - moodiness, menacing looks and all. Silence often speaks louder than words, no?
Actors have given superb performances to convey all this moodiness. I am especially glad about seeing LaBeouf in a noteworthy role, he's usually better known for starring in "Transformers" and his real-life bad boy antics than interesting projects.