In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between number-one-ranked women’s player Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.
The match nailed the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were the standard bearers, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past and win back his wife. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts. This is the latest film by the directing team who did LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and was written by Simon Beaufoy whose credits include THE FULL MONTY and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
(US / 2017 / Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
PG-13 / 121 mins.