TIFF 2017: Battle of the Sexes Review

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here. Check out my Instagram page for pictures of the international premiere.

Synopsis: The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With her husband urging her to fight for equal pay, the private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. (comingsoon.net)

Starring:  Emma StoneSteve Carell, and Andrea Riseborough

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Directors:  Jonathan DaytonValerie Faris

Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 121mins

Trailer:

Most people know about the famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs called The Battle of the Sexes but there was a lot going into it historically speaking. Both had reasons to win the match with King (Stone) wanting to prove to the male tennis establishment that women were equal and Riggs (Carell), as part of that establishment, perhaps wanted to maintain the status quo while solving his own problems. Now there was more to the film than the tennis match as the female tennis players had to endure sexism and other challenges while trying to establish a place for themselves.

King was a compelling character to watch and very easy to root for even though again, most people that are old enough will already know the outcome. Knowing the result did not make it any less exciting to watch. The story was both funny and touching at times thanks to the performances by Stone and Carell. Stone was excellent as the determined King while Carell excelled as the over the top Riggs. They complemented each other and were fun to watch together.

Overall, this was a gripping, feel-good film anchored by excellent performances from Stone and Carell.

Score: 9.5/10

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