Run time: 121 mins
Emma Stone serves up a career-best performance
in this glossy but triumphant crowd-pleaser.
Battle of the Sexes tells the story behind Tennis’s
famed 1973 exhibition match between 29 year-old
Billie Jean King (Stone) and 55 year-old hustler
Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) who boasted he could
beat any woman in the world.
Fighting a public battle for women in sport, Billie
Jean also internally wrestles with her sexuality.
Married to her husband Larry (Austin Stowell) she
falls for her female hairdresser Marilyn and finds
herself not only saddled with hiding the affair from
him, but struggling to keep it private from a sporting
community which is not yet ready to openly address
homosexuality. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris,
the husband-and-wife team responsible for the
Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine, expertly bring
to life Simon Beaufoy’s superb script, perfectly
balancing the on-court action with the off-court
drama.More than forty years have passed since
the two stepped up to the net. Some things have
changed, some not. A timely reminder that in the
match for gender equality, it’s only the end of the
first set. (research Chris Coetsee) It may well be a
contender. Don’t miss.