Battle Of The Sexes

He made a bet. She made history.

Poster for the historical drama Battle Of The SexesThe premise (a re-creation of one of the most ballyhooed sporting moments of the 1970s, a tennis match between women’s libber Billie Jean King and chauvinist Bobby Riggs) and the talent (a bespectacled Emma Stone, a bespectacled Steve Carell and a scene-stealing Sarah Silverman) make this a promising venture from the start. But directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton move beyond the ready-made charisma of the serve-and-volley shenanigans to offer a contextualized portrait of the closet-lesbian King and her fight against sexism and the social mores of the time. Stone is solid in the role, and Carell is perfectly cast as the showman/hustler Riggs. The film is surprisingly timely: today’s fierce, revitalized misogyny makes the 1970s male chauvinism seem droll and quaint in comparison.

– Brad Wheeler, The Globe And Mail

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