Battle Of The Sexes – review

Set during 1973 Battle Of The Sexes follows Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) on the womens pro tennis circuit and retired tennis champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). She is trying to prove that women deserve equal pay and he is a bored retiree with a gambling habit. What results between them was a high stakes tennis match between the two. One of the most watched sporting events of the time,  and a collision of gender and sport.

On paper Battle Of The Sexes is a bit dull, but it was on my most anticipated list of 2017 for a reason. Thanks to a cracking cast and some engaging direction, this is an enjoyable sports movie.

Steve Carell has a Golden Globe and SAG nomination for his portrayal of Riggs, and it is well deserved. Possibly the best non comedy movie work he has done, and a great physical transformation. Charming and charismatic despite acting like a pig for most of the time. Stone doesn’t look much like King, the wig isn’t quite right. It is also obvious she isn’t playing tennis as we don’t see her hitting a ball with a racket in a single wide shot.

Much of the plot involving women in sport, the gender pay gap and having to hide sexuality for public success. All of which are sadly still relevant more than thirty years later. Despite some of these heavy topics the movie still remains lightweight and fun.

A charming if lightweight sports movie that is watchable but won’t be taking away and gold at award season.

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