Biopic is more rel­e­vant than ever

Tweed Daily News - - PULSE -

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.

PHOTO: MELINDA SUE GOR­DON

TIMELY: Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in Bat­tle of the Sexes.

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