Sunday, October 8, 2017

MOVIE REVIEW: Battle of the Sexes

MOVIE REVIEW
Battle of the Sexes
Decibel Films / Cloud Eight Films
(Running time 1:21 minutes)
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Arriving officially at theaters
(in limited release) on 9/22,
the highly-anticipated, all-
star tour de force made its
way finally to my town this
weekend. Jubilant, for sure!
"One 'senior' matinee ticket to
Battle of the Sexes, please!"
__________________________

Playing out for the first hour as a seemingly, tennis-tinged LBGTQ recruitment film, Battle of the Sexes rebounds nicely in the second half — ultimately recounting the compelling, Rocky-caliber story I actually had paid to see.

Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris succeed in recreating (with amazing accuracy), the story of the iconic 1973 tennis match-up between reigning women's champ, Billie Jean King and former men's champ, Bobby Riggs — an event that changed forever how professional sporting events would be packaged, produced and promoted — while simultaneously blowing the lid off the era's social / sexual revolution. You've come a long way, babyindeed.

An authentic, tension-filled
scene from Battle of the Sexes
(The Houston Astrodome / 9.20.73)
Simply put, moviegoers can absolutely believe the hype, as Battle of the Sexes is truly one of the year's very best films. Emma Stone and Steve Carell each serve Oscar-worthy performances in their respective lead roles portraying King and Riggs, while kudos are also owed to Sarah Silverman as the savvy businesswoman, Gladys Heldman and Jessica McNamee as the vilified conservative women's tennis champ, Margaret Court.

Although a few creative liberties are taken in retelling the legendary tale, Battle of the Sexes scores high marks over all for authenticity — from the era-specific clothing, coiffs and cars to the actual old school video footage of such prominent newscasters as Howard K. Smith and sportscasters, including Howard Cosell. Featuring classic cuts from the likes of Elton John, George Harrison and Aerosmith, even the film's music soundtrack is a spot-on, gloriously shag-covered treat.

-Christopher Long
(October 2017)

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