An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Challengers" & "The Beast"

From left: Mike Faist and Zendaya in Challengers (2024); Léa Seydoux in The Beast (2023).
Challengers, Frenesy Film Co./MGM/Pascal Pictures/Why Are You Acting Prod./Amazon MGM Studios, 2024. The Beast, Les Films du Bélier/My New Picture/Janus Films/Sideshow, 2023.
From left: Mike Faist and Zendaya in Challengers (2024); Léa Seydoux in The Beast (2023).

One of the things that makes life the adventure it is involves facing the various challenges that it poses. Which is convenient for us here at Movies 101 because the very concept of challenges is this week’s theme. In this episode, Dan Webster, Nathan Weinbender, and Mary Pat Treuthart discuss two films that involve that very theme. The first is Challengers, director Luca Guadagnino’s look at a three-way relationship among tennis players. The second is a challenge to our very senses, director Bertrand Bonello’s head-scratching study The Beast.

Related Content
  • “Challengers” is a study of desire, whether for athletic success or romantic intimacy—and sometimes both, Dan Webster says in his review.
  • “The Beast” explores the dangers of AI, but in a way that even AI might not understand, Dan Webster says in his review.
  • The Italian director Luca Guadagnino isn’t known for restraint, and his newest film “Challengers” is a big, stylish melodrama about obsession and betrayal in the world of tennis. Nathan Weinbender says it’s a lot of fun, and made with more energy and zeal than most mainstream movies.