Movie review: “Battle of the Sexes” hits a sweet spot

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In a portrayal by Emma Stone, Billie Jean King answers her ringing telephone, only to hear the voice of a male tennis player and frequent gambler, Bobby Riggs.

“Eureka, Billie Jean! It’s Bobby. Bobby Riggs. Listen, I have a great idea. Male chauvinist pig versus hairy-legged feminist, no offense. You’re still a feminist, right?”

From that conversation, one of the most historically televised events in the nation bloomed, “The Battle of the Sexes,” a 1973 exhibition match between Women’s U.S. champion Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, a washed-up tennis player with a gambling addiction. While the film was primarily written for the purpose of creating a biopic about one of the most publicized discussions on gender equality of all time, each of the players were caught in a more personal game. “Battle of the Sexes” is an under-advertised film, but emits an overwhelming amount of emotion and fine craft from the production team.

I walked into the theater expecting a tennis movie, but walked out feeling as though the characters stole a small piece of me upon leaving the screen. Emma Stone’s acting style always takes the cake for her amazingly unapologetic portrayals of different characters, including her roles in films such as “La La Land” and “Birdman.” Her success in this role was far from surprising. Steve Carell, however, was the diamond in the rough. He’s known for being the awkward funny guy, most commonly known for his character Michael Scott on “The Office.” In “Battle of the Sexes,” he shines particularly because of his seriousness in playing a man who lost everything.

The incredible characterization of two real-life people, along with realistic cinematography that makes the viewer feel like it’s 1973 and a subplot of discovering one’s sexuality and powering through addiction, makes “Battle of the Sexes” worth your two hours. This is truly a biopic that even Billie Jean would be proud of.


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