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‘Battle of the Sexes’ Explores the Personal Struggles of Sports Legends King and Riggs, but Struggles to be a Legendary Film

Ben Baca and Sarah Trebicka

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If you’re looking for a good sports film to watch this year, “Battle of the Sexes” is one that’s mildly appreciative. This sports biographical film first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, and gained a full theatrical release three weeks after on September 22.

The story is loosely based upon the famous 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), and former tennis champ and prostitute, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). Before the match begins, both players deal with personal struggles. Billie champions for gender equality and learns to come to terms with her sexuality, while Bobby partakes in the event to fight his gambling habits and win back his wife’s approval.

For the most part, the movie attempts to create a powerful biography set during a sports event while simultaneously trying to address gender inequalities. As a result, it becomes one of those films that isn’t a great masterpiece, or one of the best pictures of the year, because it tries too hard to incorporate a feminist perspective. Instead, the entire plot is just a simple story with an expected ending.

However, the movie did have some redeemable qualities that made it an okay film, such as the spectacular cinematography and impressively accurate casting, as the actors appear strikingly similar to the real life tennis players.

All in all, “Battle of the Sexes” is a good, not great, picture that features amazing visuals, realistic casting, fantastic performances, accurately written characters, and a satisfying ending. However, its attempts to be amazing falls flat with its try-hard focus on sexism. I’d rate this film a 7/10.

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The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School
‘Battle of the Sexes’ Explores the Personal Struggles of Sports Legends King and Riggs, but Struggles to be a Legendary Film