5th Set: a beautiful film about a tennis champion at the end of his career [critique]

Alex Lutz still amazes in this first solo feature film by Quentin Reynaud. The perfect after-Roland-Garros.

Apart from his appearance in Exceptional convoy, we left, on the cinema side, Alex Lutz in 2019 receiving his César for best actor for Guy. And here he is again in a role in which we would never have spontaneously imagined. A tennis champion who has never recovered from a decisive match lost at a young age at Roland Garros. Now he is 37 years old, so a priori at the end of his career. But he has difficulty with the idea of ​​hanging up, especially when, having gone through the qualifiers, he starts winning again at Roland-Garros. 5th set is a fascinating film about these short careers of great sportsmen and their relationship with their entourage (a woman tenniswoman who sacrificed her career by having their child and a castrating mother, magnificently camped by Ana Girardot and Kristin Scott-Thomas).

But this building would collapse if we did not believe in tennis champion Lutz. Because we would not see more than that. However, the actor achieves a double performance: physical and emotional (the way he translates his character’s rediscovered hopes when he believed them to be lost forever, as well as the way in which the gazes of others once again placed on him intoxicate him …) and physical at the service of a director familiar with his subject. Tennis player himself, Quentin Reynaud brings an essential documentary part to this fiction and signs a final straight line to glue you to your seat of suspense and emotions. Few of the films have been able to translate sport and athletes without betraying them. Reynaud succeeds with a story that will seduce beyond the initiated. Game, set and match.

Of Quentin Reynaud. With Alex Lutz, Ana Girardot, Kristin Scott-Thomas… Duration: 1h53. Released on June 16, 2021

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