Biopic is more relevant than ever
DON’T be fooled by the mutton chop sideburns ... Battle Of the Sexes is as current as, well, the issue of same-sex marriage.
The timing of its release is so auspicious you wonder whether the filmmakers had a mole in Malcolm Turnbull’s office.
The biopic takes its title from a farcical 1973 exhibition match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ageing male champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).
When the film opens, King has set up a breakaway women’s tennis competition in protest at the disparity
between the male and female prize pools.
The world’s No. 1 woman tennis player and Gladys Heldman (Sarah Silverman), founder of World Tennis magazine, are galvanised when the Association of Tennis Professionals further reduces the women’s slice of the pie. Riggs is a hustler and a showman for whom it’s possible to feel a good deal of affection. When he comes up with the idea of an exhibition match, King initially turns him down.
But after Australian player Margaret Court (Jessica Mcnamee) accepts the challenge and loses – King feels she has been backed into a corner.
This is a crowd-pleaser with a decent backhand volley and is in cinemas now.
TIMELY: Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in Battle of the Sexes.