BAT­TLE OF THE SEXES

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES - (Jonathan Richards)

Jonathan Day­ton and Valerie Fari ( Lit­tle Miss

Sun­shine) score with the epic 1973 ten­nis spec­ta­cle be­tween Bil­lie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that riv­eted a national TV au­di­ence and gave a boost to the as­pi­ra­tion of gen­der equal­ity in sports. Riggs was a fifty-five-year- old for­mer cham­pion and in­vet­er­ate hustler, a self-pro­claimed male chau­vin­ist pig; Bil­lie Jean was twen­ty­nine, a great ath­lete at the top of her game. There’s not much sus­pense but plenty of fun, spec­ta­cle, and emo­tional res­o­nance as Si­mon Beau­foy’s script splits its fo­cus be­tween The Match and Bil­lie Jean’s les­bian awak­en­ing. Ex­cel­lent sup­port­ing work comes from Sarah Silverman, Bill Pull­man, and Alan Cum­ming. And the ten­nis, mid-‘70s style with wooden rack­ets and a lot of net play, is on the mark. Rated PG-13. 121 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown.

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