BATTLE OF THE SEXES (film) is sublime entertainment

Directors: Jonathan Dayton / Valerie Faris
Cast: Emma Stone / Steve Carell / Alan Cumming / Andrea Riseborough
Score: Nicholas Britell.
Cinematography: Linus Sandgren.
Content Advisory: PG13 for a sex scene, sexual content, and partial nudity.
Source: Rented.

The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

This is the most I've ever been interested in tennis. I didn't expect to love this film as much as I ended up doing.

The music is beautiful, the cinematography is breathtaking (Sandgren did La La Land - you can tell immediately) and the sets are radiant. The use of colour is amazing, the dialogue is rich, and every scene is saturated with an amber tone that dates the story in the 70's. It's atmospheric, and it sweeps you into the time period. I absolutely loved drinking in the scenes and the stunning sets. They're incredible.

What a story. I laughed, I had tears in my eyes, I was furious, I was triumphant. I could almost feel the weight King was carrying when she walked out onto that court with everything to prove, and I am so empowered by her victory and her fierce determination. She fought for women in a man's world, and when she played Riggs she was fighting for women everywhere. It's both heartbreaking and inspiring to watch.
The plot is fast-paced, entertaining, and utterly engrossing. I was glued to the screen. Towards the end the story becomes extremely hard-hitting - with aching emotion - and my heart was pounding for King. She won against Riggs, but her story is bittersweet. Seeing her break down in the locker rooms after the match made me realise just how much pressure she must have been under. It made me admire her even more.

The cast is excellent. Everyone is on their A-game. Steve Carell is brilliant as always, but it's Emma Stone who is especially captivating. She's so immersed in the character, and her subtle facial expressions are particularly riveting. Sarah Silverman as Gladys is also a standout.

Battle of the Sexes is a game of pain and beauty, of fear and bravery, of love and triumph. The cast is wonderful, the production is lavish, and the script is excellent. It's a fanatically entertaining and moving film.


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