Jonathan Dayton

Stone and Carell serve up a winner in still timely ’70s tennis drama      

Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) play to the crowd at a press conference preceding the Battle of the Sexes.

Opening nearly 44 years to the day after the famous tennis match it’s named after, Battle of the Sexes chronicles the much publicized and widely watched (90 million viewers tuned in worldwide) 1973 match between then 29-year-old women’s champion Billie Jean King and former men’s champion 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. Billed as the ultimate Battle of the Sexes, the match became much more than just an exhibition game; it took on a life of its own, and, after King’s resounding defeat of Riggs, it became a touchstone for the growing women’s equality movement of the early 1970s. Husband and wife directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours; Slumdog Millionaire) wonderfully capture the zeitgeist of the period down to the smallest details, and have assembled a stellar cast to bring this often infuriating but always engaging true story to life.
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