Metz and screenwriter Ronnie Sandahl (who together made a TV doc about this bout in 1996) will devote time to each man's childhood, but at first seem mostly concerned with Borg's — surely because what we learn there so upends our understanding of him.
Dad (Ian Blackman) seemingly maintains a more constant presence in his son's life — first making the kid do human-calculator party tricks at dinners, then following the young man around to matches and appearances, casting a stern eye on anything that looks like failure.
Viewers who were repelled by McEnroe's antics in their day would be hard pressed not to sympathize with him here (insert your own observations about the relevance of LaBeouf's first-hand experience with public scorn); and as Borg, Gudnason is a time-bomb of self doubt hidden under golden tresses and a fur coat.
And even if the script's one obvious concession to tennis newbies in the audience doesn't go quite far enough in establishing what "tiebreaker" means in this context, few things could be clearer than the argument that, on July 5, 1980, few athletes could have been more equally matched than Björn Borg and John McEnroe.
Production company: SF StudiosDistributor: NeonCast: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia Labeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Tuva Novotny, Ian BlackmanDirector: Janus MetzScreenwriter: Ronnie SandahlProducers: Jon Nohrstedt, Fredrik Wikstrom NicastroExecutive producers: Tim KingDirector of photography: Niels ThastumProduction designer: Lina NordqvistCostume designer: Kicki IlanderEditors: Per Sandholdt, Per K. KirkegaardComposers: Jonas Struck, Vladislav Delay, Jon Ekstrand, Carl-Johan SevedagCasting directors: Jessie Frost, Jina Jay, Johannes PerssonVenue: Toronto International Film Festival (Gala Presentations)
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