In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s World #1 Billie Jean King and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs 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 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. 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. Starring Emma Stone, Steve Carrell,, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue and Fred Armisen. RatedPG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity. (2 hrs 10 min)
San Francisco Chronicle
All this is dramatized expertly and with a lightness of touch in Simon Beaufoy’s screenplay and in the direction of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team behind “Little Miss Sunshine
The Seattle Times
An enjoyably lighthearted crowd-pleaser with a serious message at its core.
Battle of the Sexes stands on its own as a finely tuned period piece, a vibrant comedy, an effective character study and, yep, an inspirational sports movie.
The symbolic power of what happened there — one small step, one giant leap for womankind — is still the movie’s truest ace.