#TIFF17 Review ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Even with an Oscar under her sleeve, Emma Stone is still bringing her A-game to the screen. Starring alongside Steve Carell once again (you’ve seen the pair on Crazy, Stupid, Love), Stone plays the famous Billie Jean King set around the iconic 1973 tennis match face off with Bobby Riggs (Carell) that rattled the perception of women in sports.

Billie Jean King is known for bringing sexism to light. From trying to match the mens’ $12,000 championship prize to defending her number 1 spot, King brought the battle of the sexes to the tennis court and made sure what she’s worked hard for her entire life actually solidifies the merit deserved.

With a well done ‘70s cinematography and soundtrack to take you to the time and place the face off went down, Carell takes his gambling and goofy character to shine the light on how far womankind has come to earn her spot in professional sports. Sharing only a small amount of scenes, Stone and Carell’s separation makes a statement of how two people fighting for their love of tennis in actuality had nothing to do with tennis at all, but for the equal rights of everyone.

Although this film might not be Stone’s second Oscar, or Carell’s first, it is a gateway to filmmakers to reevaluate and observe the history of women’s rights and how many small steps it took for the conversation to regularly happen. The build up to the tennis match did not only favour sports fans, but 90 million viewers watching in anticipation for social politics and change alike. Emma Stone once again shows that she is not one to be played with and deliver a true class act, even if it does not end with a statue in hand.

Fox Searchlight releases Battle of the Sexes in theatres Friday, Sept 22

[Review by Reem Chahrour]

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