The Battle of the Sexes (2017)
Although I did not live during the time that this film is supposed to have taken place, I knew a little bit about the battle of the sexes. OK, all I really knew was that men and women played tennis against each other in the 1970s to prove which sex was better at sports. I did not know any specifics. I knew nothing.
The movie is a true story about how the best women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former men’s tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) come to play an exhibition tennis match against each other for the battle of the sexes in 1973.
The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Bill Pullman, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Jessica McNamee, Austin Stowell, Wallace Langham, Lewis Pullman (son of Bill Pullman), and James Mackay.
The movie was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
The Battle of the Sexes was very formulaic and predictable. However, it was a true story that I was truly unfamiliar with. An exhibition tennis match suddenly becomes a fight for equal pay and equal rights. It is a feel-good film about working to right a wrong in society. The movie is an exploration in sexism and surprisingly, sexuality.
This would have been a great time to experience in American History. To witness this symbolic tennis match (even just on TV), would’ve been witnessing an important time for women’s rights.
The movie does a good job showing just how slanted peoples’ views of men and women were back in the 1970s. Even though lots of people believe that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equals rights for all, this film is definitely a big reminder that we have come a long way.
Emma Stone and Steve Carell were superb pitted against each other (as they were together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011). The costume design in the movie was excellent. Stone and Carell looked very much like the people they were portraying. So much so, that it was a little scary. The 1970s was recreated very artistically down to every detail.
The movie had a nice recipe of goofy humor, and serious drama. Like many sports films, it was quite predictable. It is a formula that we have seen 100 times and it doesn’t get old. We still enjoy watching the underdog. It’s a David and Goliath story. Danielle and Goliath, if you will.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
The Natural (1984)
All is Lost (2013)
Usually you cannot go wrong watching a Robert Redford movie. All is Lost is like no other Redford film because he is the only person in the entire movie.
Of Course, the concept of only one person in a movie has been done a few times before. Usually movies like this one give the actor the opportunity to show what they are really made of. Movies like this are risky because one person has to literally carry the whole film on his back. In Redford’s case, it is up to him whether he sinks or swims.
All is Lost is about a lone sailor who rips a hole in his boat after crashing into a shipping container in the middle of the ocean. He is forced to use whatever he has on board to try to stay afloat in order to survive.
The film was written and directed by J.C. Chandor and as I mentioned before, Redford is the only person in the movie.
Redford has been behind the camera more often in recent years than he has been in front of the camera. All is Lost is the second film that he has been in this year. The first one was The Company You Keep (2012). Redford is now 77 years old. It is almost like he has realized that he is not getting any younger and has decided to try to go out with a bang. What better way to do this than to be the only star in a film and showcase all of your acting skills for the world to see. He did exactly that in All is Lost and in my opinion, it was his best performance since the film The Natural (1984). It may also, quite possibly, have been Redford’s best movie overall since The Natural.
All is Lost is not a feel good movie, but it is a movie that might make you feel better about life after watching it. It is definitely a film that will stick with you.
Because the film is a one-man-show, there is not a lot of talking. Not just anyone could have starred in this movie, and to me, it was more meaningful that it was Robert Redford who did. It is a hard story to tell and an even harder part to act.
I think that All is Lost is Redford’s third best movie behind The Sting (1973) and The Natural. It is hard to beat those two films, and given that they were made 29 years ago and 40 years ago, you really can’t compare them.
Fans of Redford will not be disappointed with All is Lost. I think that it is one of the best films of the year. He deserves an Academy Award nomination for best actor and the film should be nominated for best picture.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked All is Lost, then you will most likely enjoy the following films:
127 Hours (2010)