How to watch Challengers in New Zealand

Cheerfully provocative filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, Bones and All) brings us a sporty love triangle between a tennis coach, her husband, and their shared former bestie/lover (delete as applicable).

When is Challengers being released in New Zealand?

Challengers is screening in New Zealand cinemas from April 18.

What is Challengers about?

Well, it’s not really about tennis, is it? That’s what we call a metaphor, as we follow three people who bat each others affections around like a little yellow ball. Former tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan is now coach to her husband, Patrick Sweig, who is deep into a losing streak. His upcoming make-or-break match is against former friend and longtime rival Art Donaldson, who is also her ex. Thorny.

The deft script by Justin Kuritzkes, a playwright making his feature writing debut, volleys back and forth in time, gradually revealing who these folks are and how we got here. And the whole thing is very, very horny, all sweaty, athletic bodies, longing glances, and double entendres—the Netflix “skip the foreplay” version would be shorter than a Looney Tunes cartoon.

The cast of Challengers

Zendaya (and c’mon, you know who she is) is Tashi Duncan, Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country, The Crown) is Patrick Sweig, and Mike Faist (West Side Story) is Art Donaldson.

Challengers trailer

Why we’re excited about Challengers

Look, we don’t want to tell on ourselves here, but Luca Guadagnino is the most prominent proponent of sensual cinema right now, in a time when the culture seems gripped by a deeply weird brand of puritanism, so we’ll check out whatever thirsty work he cares to put on screen. Add in some of the best young actors currently working and a story set in the high stakes, high-burnout-rate world of professional tennis, and this one is a must see—although probably not one for family movie night.