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The best things to see and do this weekend, by the Mail’s critics

stickman supreme duelist 2 cover?auto\u003dformat,compress\u0026q\u003d75\u0026cs\u003dstrip - BoxSkill netA host of fantastic films, awesome new albums and spectacular stage performances – they are all featured in our critics’ picks of the best of film, music and theatre. 

Our experts have explored all the options for culture vultures to get their teeth into, and decided on the music, plays and movies that are well worth dedicating your weekend to.

Read on to find out what to see and do…



Challengers                                                            Cert: 15, 2hrs 11mins


Just for a moment, as Challengers gets under way, you find yourself wondering whether Zendaya, all of 27, is a tad too young to convince totally as the glossily coiffed wife and coach of a top tennis champion, let alone the distracted mother of a little girl.

But then you remember that the great Steffi Graf retired at only 30 and that Zendaya is playing a former junior champion whose hugely promising career was ended by injury before she even had the chance to turn professional, and you realise that the makers of Challengers – and Zendaya herself co-produces – have got it spot-on.

The makers of Challengers – and star Zendaya herself co-produces – have got pretty much everything spot on in a film which is sporty, sexy and absolutely gorgeous to look at

And they carry on getting pretty much everything else spot-on too. The result is a film that arrives like an overdue burst of warm spring sunshine – it’s sporty, ridiculously sexy at times and, like other films directed by the Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino of Call Me By Your Name fame, absolutely gorgeous to look at. 

At the outset, Tashi Donaldson (Zendaya) is watching the final of a Challenger tournament, a step down from the better-known competitions. One of the finalists is her husband, Art, played by West Side Story star Mike Faist, who has hit a bad patch and dropped down a level to regain confidence. The other is Patrick Zweig (an excellent Josh O’Connor) an unshaven John McEnroe-like figure who sleeps in his car and has a strange serve.

There is no sign the pair even know each other until Justin Kuritzkes’s screenplay skips back 13 years and we discover they used to be doubles partners and best friends. And that they were both besotted with the same girl.

Ah, that’ll be Zendaya again, now alarmingly convincing as an 18-year-old with the world, not to mention both boys, at her feet. But which one does she choose?

Yes, Challengers may be a tennis film and bear some similarities to 2004’s Wimbledon with Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst, but it’s also a well-acted and beautifully cast love triangle film that will keep you guessing right up to its somewhat overplayed end. I loved it, particularly its use of music, despite getting slightly befuddled by all the jumping about in time.

Matthew Bond 




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