Borg vs McEnroe


D: Janus Metz Pedersen

Nordisk/SF Studios (Jon Norstedt & Fredrik Wikström Nicastro)

Sweden 🇸🇪 2017

100 mins


W: Ronnie Sandahl

DP: Niels Thastum

Ed: Per Sandholt & Per Kirkegaard

Mus: Vladislav Delay & Jon Ekstrand

Svirrir Gudnason (Björn Borg), Shia LeBeouf (John McEnroe), Stella Skarsgård (Lennart Bergelin), Tuva Novotny (Mariana Simionescu), Leo Borg (Young Björn)

Even those unfamiliar with tennis are sure to know the names of two of the sports biggest stars, Björn Borg and John McEnroe. 

This biographical film focuses on both men as they compete through the 1980 Wimbledon tournament.

Björn, the people's favourite, eyeing his fifth consecutive title is a player of little emotion, letting his athleticism and execution do the talking, whilst John McEnroe, a brash New Yorker is the polar opposite, a petulant player not afraid to throw a tantrum when decisions don't go his way.

As they progress through the competition, flashbacks detail their respective childhoods and training to get to the top of their game, ultimately revealing that the two men are not so unalike at all. 

Like most biographical pictures, there is much dramatisation for the sake of tension in the story, but the performances of the two leads are excellent (especially Shia LaBeouf with an uncanny portrayal of John McEnroe). It was also a stroke of genius casting Björn Borg's own son as his younger self, and the editing of actual footage into the film is quite seamlessly done.

It may not be one which you'll rush to watch at cinemas, but it's certainly worth watching. Personally, I'm rather disappointed that I'm not old enough to have seen the 1980 final, considered by many to be sport's all time classic.


Shia LaBeouf & Sverrir Gudnason in Borg vs McEnroe
Shia LaBeouf & Sverrir Gudnason in Borg vs McEnroe