Fair Play Review – Sundance 2023

Fair Play: Directed by Chloe Domont

SYNOPSIS: An unexpected promotion at a cutthroat hedge fund pushes a young couple’s relationship to the brink, threatening to unravel not only their recent engagement but their lives.

So many thoughts on this epic of a film. Another project at the very top of the Sundance watchlist due to hype and reviews alone. From the second I heard about this film, I was fully invested from the start. All of the hype is here. You have Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich in the leads, a fiery premise and the news that it was being bought by Netflix. I also have a soft spot for films centered around Wall Street, trading and things of that nature. I am so happy I had the opportunity to give this one a look because it blew me away. 

At the core, it is a romantic drama. I know it will be labeled as a thriller, which I can understand, but overall it’s a drama centered around a relationship and the domino effect of decisions made at their firm. This wouldn’t work if the performances from our lead duo weren’t up to par. Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich absolutely destroyed it. Both come from popular franchises and deliver some of the best performances of their careers. The chemistry is electric. The solo moments are impactful. Watching this duo work off of each other was just picture-perfect. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

The writing and direction are also so airtight. Chloe Domont was impeccable both behind and the camera in the writer’s chair. This film is all about gender dynamics in the workplace and what happens when the glass ceiling begins to break. I thought it was brilliant. The dynamite writing along with the performance from Dynevor work off each other so well and give us a badass character to root for. The tension never lets up and the snappy pacing keeps you engaged. Besides the final 20-ish minutes, which kind of throw believability out the door, the rest of this film just worked.

FINAL: Fair Play is an important film that tackles gender dynamics in the workplace in a really intriguing way. Our lead performances are stellar, the direction is lightning in a bottle and the writing is so sleek. They didn’t have to go this hard, but I am so glad they did. If the final 20 minutes of the film didn’t happen, I would say this might be an almost perfect film. Nonetheless, this is going to be a film that gets people talking when it drops on Netflix. Watch this when it comes out. I can’t recommend it enough.

Point Breakdown:

15 for Writing: 14

15 for Performances: 14

10 for Entertainment: 9

10 for Direction: 9

10 for Emotions: 9

5 for Cinematography: 4

5 for Score: 3

5 for Pacing: 5

15 for Technical: 13

5 for Rewatchability: 5

5 for Automatic: 5

Fair Play: 90/100

Jack Lautaret is a Banana Meter approved film critic, Host of the Jack Lautaret YouTube Channel and writer for Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Online Film and Television Association. Twitter: @JackLautaret


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