Challengers - Gaudagnino's Grand Slam

Challengers - Gaudagnino's Grand Slam

Written by Zoe Crombie

Although he’s been making movies since before Y2K, it’s hard not to view Luca Guadagnino as a defining filmmaker of the past decade. Since the Oscars success of Call Me By Your Name, he has directed a series of fascinatingly diverse films, from the cerebral horror remake Suspiria to the cannibal romance Bones and All. The commonality between these films, aside from masterful direction, is a sense of newness – Guadagnino is tricky to pin down at least in part because his films feel so fresh. Combining his vision with the talent of Justin Kuritzkes, the husband of Past Lives filmmaker Celine Song and the internet comedian behind the viral video ‘Potion Seller’ (if you know, you know), something special was sure to emerge.

Challengers is Guadagnino’s most commercially successful and accessible movie to date, taking the intensity and burning homoeroticism of his earlier work and channelling it into an irresistible high-octane sports drama. Starring Mike Faist, Josh O’Connor, and Zendaya in a tennis-tinged love triangle – a true love triangle, to be clear – Challengers is exhilarating from start to finish, and may be the most adept film in recent years in depicting the intensity of the sport.

I’d hate to spoil any more of Challengers than the trailer already does, so I’ll finish with these points: the chemistry is palpable, you won’t want to miss the chance to see its incredibly inventive cinematography on the big screen, and you’ll never see a racket the same way again.

Challengers runs from 14th - 30th May

Tickets & Showtimes: