5th Set: game, set and match for Alex Lutz as a tormented tennis player


NEWSPAPER – Despite some shortcomings in the script and production, the Caesarized actor remains convincing in this film by Quentin Reynaud, in theaters this Wednesday.

Three years after his performance in Guy, film which won him the César for best actor in 2019, the actor from Strasbourg strikes hard once again with 5th set by Quentin Raynaud, second feature film for the director after Paris-Willouby. The film is released in theaters this Wednesday, a timing that comes at the right time as Roland-Garros ended on Sunday.

In 5th set, the actor of Catherine and Liliane plays Thomas Edisson, an almost 38-year-old tennis player whose career never really took off, despite the hopes that rested on him early in his career. But a defeat in the semi-finals and severe injuries will discourage the one who will become a tennis teacher. He decides to give himself another chance, and prepares for the very last challenge of his career: to participate in the prestigious Roland-Garros tournament. He will invest body and soul in this project, despite the disapproval of his wife Eve and his mother Judith. A film largely centered on the character of Edisson, but which also gives pride of place to Eve, played by Ana Girardot (What binds us, An ideal man) and the severe Judith, played by Franco-British Kristin Scott Thomas.

Lack of depth and rhythm

A subject that cannot be faulted for its originality, tennis being very rarely brought to the fore in the cinema. Filmed in part at Roland-Garros, a first, the film evolves in the world of tennis, but without addressing only fans of the first hour, reassures The cross: “Whether or not you are familiar with the world of this sport, 5e Set captivates by attaching himself to one of those professional players invisible to most of the general public who run from competition to competition“.

For our journalist from Figaro , “the film struggles to transcend its documentary aspect“And”confirms that tennis is almost unfilmable in cinema“. In the pages of Télérama, we admit that the film “suffers from some flaws, of which the character of the mother“, while The world regrets that he “However, Thomas Edison lacks a story, his own, which the film is content to sketch but never goes into further. Difficult in these conditions to identify with the character, to take sides, to be moved. Even less, when those around him are reduced to little. […] There follow one another, without real rhythm, intimate scenes and matches in the course of which the dramaturgy weakens, the stake disappears“.

Alex Lutz “credible»In his role

Despite the reluctance, all agree in recognizing the “credibility“Of this film, whose director”knows what he is talking about, having practiced tennis at a professional level himself“, Note The world. In The echoes, we appreciate the way 5th Setis not another story of sports redemption suffocating under the clichés” while First recognizes the “fluidity which symbolizes that of a picky film but never excluding for the neophyte“. But it is of course the performance of Alex Lutz that seduces, he who has undergone four months of intensive training based on five hours of lessons per day, in order to bring credibility to his game. tennis player Frédéric Petitjean and some special effects make it possible to further perfect the realism desired by Raynaud. And it works: “literally stunning performance“(The Parisian), “an impeccable game“(The world), “an irreproachable actor“(The echoes), “breathtaking performance“(Telerama)… Almost nobody finds fault with the Caesarized actor.

A film of almost two hours that “the actor carries on his shoulders», According to The world, “that he literally holds at arm’s length», Adds Telerama. Many also appreciate Alex Lutz’s ability to shine in a role unlike any other, he who also played a Nazi on the verge of ridicule in OSS 117, Rio is unresponsive, as a variety singer in Guy, or as a colorful editorial secretary in the shortcom Catherine and Liliane: Alex Lutz is once again where you least expect him and proves he can play it all», Enthuses the JDD, while 20 minutes does not hesitate to qualify it as “chameleon actor“. A film with some flaws, therefore, but where we easily recognize the work done by the actor.

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