“When we dare to want a little bit more, just a little bit of what you got, that’s what you can’t stand.”
Battle of the Sexes provides an uplifting take on gender equality, told through the real-life story of legendary tennis champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) as she wages war on sexism on and off the court, rallying against the chauvinistic show pony male player, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), who challenges her to the match that gives the film its title. Though the film’s first half delves into an exploration of King’s sexuality (a plot thread that’s somewhat lost in the shuffle as the story progresses), it’s her pending match up with Riggs, and all that it represents, that provides the bulk of the dramatic drive. Structurally, if you’ve seen a sports movie, you’ll know what to expect – the underdog overcoming the odds in a bout of general heartwarming loveliness – but it’s the strong central performances and timeliness of the subject matter that make it a winner.
Rating (out of 5):