Projections - Movie Reviews

Starring Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Neill,
James McAvoy, Bernard Hill, Eleanor Bron

Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind) plays Peter Colt, a 31 year old British tennis player who has slipped to being ranked 119 th in the world. He’s participating in his last tournament before retiring from the sport to teach at a ritzy club.

Set at Wimbledon, England’s premier grand slam venue, Peter meets Lizzie Bradbury (Kristen Dunst), a young American beauty who’s on her way up in the tennis world.

The couple flirt a little and quickly fall into each other’s arms, much to the dismay of Lizzie’s father (Sam Neill) who’s also her strict manager.

The two are quite different as Peter is rather reserved and Lizzie shows her emotions on court ala a female John McEnroe (who plays a cameo role as an announcer). They’re also at very different places in their careers. He’s never won a major tournament and is at the end of his professional life and she has all of the talent and confidence of a future star. But, those differences don’t seem to matter when it comes to romance.

Peter’s self doubt on the court makes for some of the most entertaining dialogue. He talks to himself throughout each match. He wonders will he or won’t he choke, will he miss the ball, or cramp up and embarrass himself, the running commentary is a lot of fun.

Bernard Hill and Eleanor Bron play Peter’s parents. They’re unlike most movie parents as they are amusing without bing played up as dumb or mean. His mother and father fight a lot and she deals with it by doing gardening and he by moving into the backyard tree-house, they’re quirky, eccentric and a load of fun.

Bettany’s moves on court are easy and athletic looking and he’s very believable as a pro. He and Dunst are likable actors and seem to have a sweet affection for one another, which makes watching them a true pleasure.


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