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. John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection finds the mercurial tennis legend at the height of his career, documenting his quest for perfection, his frustrations, and the hardest loss of his life, against Ivan Lendl at the 1984 French Open. Using unseen 16mm footage from the Roland-Garros film archives, this immersive film showcases the iconic grace, infamous temper and unique style that powered McEnroe’s incredible hunt for tennis perfection.
"Julien Faraut's wonderfully original film mixes film theory, cryptic analysis, and multiple break(ing) points to form a coolly intoxicating examination." - SUNDAY AGE
"a sports documentary unlike any other" - INDIEWIRE
"a lovely meditation on time and movement, dedication and obsession, image and perception...a fascinating essay on the kinship between tennis and filmmaking" - VARIETY
"an obsessive study of the moves and mood swings of John McEnroe at the height of his bad-boy fame on the clay court" - HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"a multi-faceted portrait of a complex man" - SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
Cast: John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mathieu Amalric
Director: Julien Faraut
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