The really incredible story behind the 'Battle of the Sexes'

The really incredible story behind the 'Battle of the Sexes'”

It's a big story, on the court and behind the scenes, and Battle of the Sexes reduces the sauce to an exhilarating movie propelled by two mesmerizing star performances-Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

But Stone is the main event, riveting in those iconic wire-rims as a natural crusader for equality who's also wrestling with personal conflicts: She's married, but finds herself drawn to her hairdresser, Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough).

Billie Jean Moffit was born in Long Beach in 1943 and named after her father, who fought in World War II. Bobby immediately countered with sarcastic remarks to the press that men were faster, more competitive, and more popular with sports fans than women.

This dawning realizing is the through line of the movie.

The affecting new film from Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (Little Miss Sunshine) reimagines that time period in the early '70s when jumpsuits, plaid, and mutton chops abounded, and when King and the Original 9 struck out on their own with a women's tennis tour rather than earn pennies on the dollar to what the men were making.

Stone next appears in a movie in the upcoming Battle of the Sexes - concerning the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (whom Stone plays) and Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell). "It was my first time playing a real person, and that person happened to be Billie Jean King", the actress said after the film's Toronto Film Festival premiere, according to IndieWire.

Even Dayton admitted this: 'We love tennis, don't get me wrong.

It was a $100,000 winner-take-all match, but television and other rights were expected to boost the winner's share to about $200,000 and give the loser about $100,000. This is to the film's credit, though.

King's decisive victory in the match helped raise awareness of gender inequality in sports, but the entire event was little more than reality TV ahead of its time. Most of the heavy hitting dialogue falls on Stone as she carries a majority of the film's emotional weight, which only makes the lack of heavy dialogue around her more noticeable. Riggs then made his final challenge, serving a love game and then breaking Mrs. King for a 2-2 tie in the third set. King wore a smart bright pink jacket with matching glasses on the red carpet (which was actually green like tennis turf), while Stone wore a silver jacket over a white striped shirt-dress.

There's already Oscar talk around Stone's performance, a role that couldn't be more different from the struggling, dreaming actress Mia Dolan in La La Land. She is poised, strong, self-assured, and vulnerable all at once. "He was more than happy to let Billie Jean be the star and knew that it was not only about tennis".

Not so subtle, however, was John McEnroe's recent comment that Serena Williams would rank 700th in the world "if she played the men's circuit". She needed to hear her voice at 29.

Her sexuality is trickier to navigate.

But once they took to the court, it was all business. There is an ease and naturalness to them, particularly as they get to know one another, physically and emotionally.

"Battle of the Sexes", a Fox Searchlight release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "for some sexual content and partial nudity".

Backstage, Emma got to meet the 69-year-old former presidential candidate (who was a guest), but joked that she looked naked in the souvenir snap of them holding Billie Jean King shirts.

Self-described as a 'fairy godfather' to King by Cumming, he certainly comes across that way in the film. As viewers learn, the game wasn't the only thing at stake for King. He depicts the triangle between Larry, Marilyn and Billie Jean with great sensitivity and an appreciation for the sacrifices both Larry and Marilyn are willing to make to advance Billie Jean's career and cause.

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