I’VE NEVER FELT SO EXCITED AND EMPOWERED BY A TENNIS MATCH. YES, BILLY JEAN.
An awe-inspiring true story that’s coming out at a perfect time. Battle of the Sexes tells the story of Women’s World Tennis Champion Billy Jean King and the match put on by an old tennis hall-of-famer and massive gambler, Bobby Riggs, in 1973 to prove to the world which was the better sex when it came to sports. This movie is also co-directed by a woman, Valerie Faris. So, SHOUT OUT TO MY LADIES IN FILM.
And, spoiler alert, (even though it’s a real life event…so not entirely?) Billy Jean DESTROYS him.
IT’S SO SATISFYING TO WATCH.
Sports movies are very hit-or-miss for me. When they’re a hit, though, they hit hard and with gusto. This is one of those films.
Not only did this movie go into the Tennis match in 1973 that changed viewpoints on women in sports, but it delved into the life of Billy Jean and her own grapple with her sexuality. Played exquisitely by Emma Stone (honestly one of the best performances I have ever seen her in) she really encompasses all that Billy Jean is. From her movements to reactions to her passion towards women’s equality in sports, Emma nailed all of it. I would not be surprised if this role earned her an Oscar nomination. Billy Jean had a silent but strong demeanor. She was vulnerable but tough, and she took on verbal attacks from the opposite sex with such grace by taking the high road instead of diving in the verbal dirt with them. As seen multiple times from her interactions with Bobby Riggs.
Emma Stone is truly the shining point of this whole movie, but there’s also a lot to say about Steve Carrell. A man who’s proving he has a bigger range as an actor then just comedy. He really owns the roll of Bobby “The Mouth” Riggs, but he also includes the emotional sides to Bobby. Mainly his massive addiction to gambling and how that digs him into some pretty big personal and financial holes.
This movie has A LOT to say about the time period and the battle for equality that many women fought, but I think it also has a lot to say about today’s society as well. A lot of women are still fighting the battle that Billy Jean fought for. But, like many other empowered women in history, she helped to pave a pathway for women to continue the fight and have the strength to do it. And for that, I have an incredible amount of admiration for her.