Yesterday (It was a week ago, I had an issue with my keyboard – RIP – and so this is now a week late!) I ventured to the cinema and watched a movie that finished at midnight. Yes, I was out way past my bedtime. But for good reason! I went to see Battle of the Sexes, a movie about the infamous 1973 exhibition tennis match between 29-year-old Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and 55-year-old Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell). It was refreshing to see him playing a more straightlaced role, which I will get onto further into my review!
Some of this review is courtesy of my friend Ben, who I saw this with! Hi, Ben!
Battle of the Sexes is one of the greatest LGBT+ movies I have seen in a long time. It talks about the growing acceptance of gays, specifically lesbians, and the unfortunate circumstance that a lot of them had – like a lot of lesbians in the ’70s, Billie Jean King was married (to a lovely man called Larry King – who was incredibly accepting of everything she did, he basically doted on her. More people need to be like Larry King. Make that your main goal – Be Larry 24/7) and had to hide her to true lesbian identity. She even had an affair with her secretary (hairdresser in the film).
Every line of dialogue and every action within the movie was incredibly telling of a) the action it actually wanted to profess and b) the deeper meaning behind the film (see LGBT+ rights above).
Watching this film literally felt like watching a film in the ’70s. Not only did they make the texture slightly grainy, but they used legit ’70s television programmes in the background. The clothing was ’70s, the food was ’70s… everything was ’70s! (I wonder how many more times I can say ’70s in this review…)
They went well into the story of Riggs vs King, it wasn’t just the final showdown. You got to see King overcome great odds, but Riggs was not a secondary character. I would say that this movie had two protagonists. We found out more about Riggs than I thought we would; he wasn’t just an arsehole looking to be the best, he was a gambler, trying to prove to his family that he wasn’t just a washed up nobody. The only way he could do this was by fighting against feminism – he had to make himself out to be a chauvinist. (I did some research after seeing the film, and apparently Riggs and King were friends until Riggs died. He even said he loved her.)
I couldn’t love this movie more than I did – I didn’t expect much going in, and was so surprised with how much I loved it that I just had to tell you guys! Ben even gave it an 8/10 on IMDB – and he rarely gives movies more than a 7 if he likes them! Catch the movie if you can, I really recommend it.
Catch the trailer below!
Have you seen Battle of the Sexes? Will you? Who do you wish won – Riggs or King? Do you just think Riggs was an arse or was he really just trying to prove himself? What about King – wished she didn’t cheat on her husband or are you proud of her for being herself? Leave a comment below!
[Header Image: Battle of the Sexes, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2017]