BATTLE OF THE SEXES
The “Battle of the Sexes” is loosely based on the 1973 tennis match at the Astrodome in Huston, Texas between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that was viewed by 90 million people. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2017 .
In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men’s-champ and Bobby Riggs was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time.
“Battle of the Sexes” stars Academy Award Winner, Emma Stone, and Academy Award Nominee, Steve Carell, as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Andrea Riseborough is Billie Jean’s love interest Marilyn Barnett. Bill Pullman is Jack Kramer. Academy Award Nominee Elisabeth Shue plays Bobby Rigg’s wife, Priscilla. Alan Cumming plays “Ted” Tinling.
The acting is excellent. I have been an Emma Stone fan since “The Help” and the role of Bobby Riggs was made for Steve Carell.
The film was directed by husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valarie Faris. They also directed “Little Miss Sunshine” and several documentary movies about R.E.M. and other musical groups. They met at UCLA, my alma mater, in the seventies and have been working together since then.
“Battle of the Sexes” was written by Academy Award Winner Simon Beaufoy. Beaufoy is an English writer known for penning “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “The Full Monty.” “Battle of the Sexes” is an extraordinarily well-written well-acted dramedy.
Billie Jean King worked with the writer and directors to ensure that the movie was authentic. “I thought it was very wise to choose Val and Jonathan to direct ‘Battle of the Sexes’ because this movie is for everyone. It isn’t just for women, and it isn’t just for men. It shows how vulnerable people are, and how life is messy and yet joyful,” said Billie Jean in an interview for OUT magazine.
I was shocked when I saw the rating on this film. I would have thought it would have had an R rating. There are some graphic sex scenes that should have garnered an R rating and went on a little too long, but did not distract from the show.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Watson admitted that she had never been athletic and had never played tennis. She had to bulk up for the role and work with a coach to learn to play tennis. She also talked about going to a tennis match with Billie Jean King. King who kept a running commentary in Stone’s ear.
This is a superb film; one you won’t want to miss.
“Battle of the Sexes” opens Friday at AMC Creve Coeur on Olive in the county. If you are a baby boomer, this is a must see and worth the drive.