The Battle of the Sexes – limited release on September 22nd
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 (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial 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. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.
World Premiere Event September 16th:
I was very excited to hit the “green” carpet for my first movie premiere and press junket. The experience did not disappoint! I even impressed my 3 boys by taking the opportunity to talk with their comedic hero, Steve Carell, after the interviews were over. The Battle of the Sexes is a true story of the 1973 tennis match that the whole county watched between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone plays the tennis great and Steve Carell plays the “aging” pro. Emma Stone’s performance of King was “touching and authentic”, according to King.
Emma Stone captures the emotions of dealing with King’s sexuality along with her strength and determination to take on the fight for women’s equality. Steve Carell’s winning performance of the male chauvinistic, sexist hustler is entertaining to watch.
Carell has the ability to capture the crazy, over the top nature of Riggs, along with the very real personal suffering he felt. Unfortunately, the subject of women’s equality is still relevant today. I believe this is one reason why this movie will appeal to a wide audience, as well as the fact that funny man Steve Carell and the lovely Emma Stone are the stars!
One of my favorite performances was Elizabeth Shue’s portrayal of Riggs’s wealthy wife, Priscilla. Although it was a smaller role, it helps the audience to understand the human side of Riggs and how her deep love for him brought them back together. I also loved watching Alan Cumming as the wardrobe stylist for the women’s team. No matter the role, he never disappoints. His Scottish accent and charm are so endearing! The intimate
moments shared between King and her carefree hairdresser, played by Andrea Riseborough, are brief but poignant. Of course, having the opportunity to listen to Billie Jean King speak so passionately about her role in history and her take on the movie was an amazing experience.
The Battle of the Sexes was made in such a way that it feels very authentic, as if it was actually shot in 1973. The movie, from Fox Searchlight, is really just about one year in the life of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs’s history; a history that paved the way for equality for women. The comedy drama is touching and fun to watch. Out in theaters on September 22nd, Battle of the Sexes is a great movie for date night, GNO or even family movie night. It can open up a conversation that may otherwise not hit the dinner table!
Stay tuned for interviews with the cast and crew of The Battle of the Sexes!