Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Emma Stone – Billie Jean King
Steve Carell – Robert Larimore Riggs
Sarah Silverman – Gladys Heldman
Andrea Riseborough – Marilyn Barnett
Bill Pullman – Jack Kramer
I have to say, when I first noticed the trailer for Battle of the Sexes I raised an eyebrow – another film about tennis players only three months between each other. I had been to see Borg VS McEnroe in September, and really enjoyed it. Surely another biopic based on a tennis legend would be a bit boring..
..wasn’t bad at all. Battle of the Sexes was actually very entertaining. The movie progresses at a great pace with Stone at the helm of some brilliant scenes focusing on King and Barnett’s romantic turmoil. This movie splits in two and offers a tale of forbidden love at the same time as a heated competition between two sport rivals. And both of these stories combine nicely, the movie doesn’t drift off into boring bollocks it has the potential to. One minute you have Billle Jean crying on the shoulder of her female lover as she comes to a serious realisation, the next you have Bobby running around a tennis court dressed as Little Bo Peep to promote himself. The scene transition is great, balancing the two stories nicely whilst maintaining the right amount of emotion for each character’s circumstances. Good stuff.
Stone plays the tennis pro very well, especially when it comes to battling the balls of her husband and falling into the arms of sultry stylist, Marilyn. Her engaging performance comes with tears and expressions of anguish, showing a side to Stone that is vastly different to her soapy La La Land style crap we’ve seen previously. There she was flinging herself around in billowing dresses like something from a hopeless romantic Disney flick. Here she is portraying the life of a devoted sportswoman using a high level of dramatics in an almost documentary-style representation.
Scenes involving Billie Jean’s teammates are just as entertaining as the woman herself. Gladys (Silverman) acts as the matriarch of Billie Jean’s team and does it without fault; rigid posture and an acid tongue only boost the movie’s entertainment factor and when Silverman and Stone are on screen together – sheer dynamite.
Battle of the Sexes isn’t a bad watch at all. And if you’re a tennis fan I have absolutely no doubt you will find it as engaging as I did. And I’m not even a fan!