The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
What a great story to take to the big screen. The arrogance of one tennis player versus the absolute stubbornness of another. Billie Jean King was something very special in the world of women’s tennis. Not only was she an amazing player but she also had the personal fortitude to not stand for being treated like a second-class citizen. There are stories like this scattered on the modern timeline that need to be told. The idea that at the time women were paid such a pittance for winning compared to the male players. Such a crazy world that needs to be adjusted toward perfect balance and in some ways has come a long way and yet despite where we have come it is still not equitable as yet.
For a film like this to really grab you it needs to have spectacular cast members to draw you into the emotion of the story and empathize with the characters plight. Stone and Carell are perfect in this film. In fact they are almost an exact match for the actual ages of the characters they are playing. Billie Jean King was 29 years old and Bobby Riggs was 55 in 1973. At the time of filming Emma Stone was 28 and Steve Carell 54. Talk about perfect casting from a physicality point of view and in regards to the emotional draw, these two completely had me in the palms of their hands.
There was a moment when it looked to be a different situation. Emma Stone was initially cast as Billie Jean King, but scheduling issues forced her to pass on the role. Brie Larson was ultimately tapped to replace Stone. However, after a few months, Larson dropped out and after Stone's schedule was cleared, she was able to take back the role.
The film makers have perfectly captured the seventies both visually and even the feel. Plus of course the scenes of massive tennis stadiums was so epic that you could feel the tension right to your core. I think that is another aspect that made the film engaging. The ability to move me to the edge of my seat at times was magic.
It also helped that 1973 was the year I was born and so it is not a story that I was intimately familiar with and so I loved learning about it as I watched it.
Fun yet dramatic look at a compelling moment in tennis and gender history.
DVD Releases: 10th January 2018
Duration: 121 minutes
Duration: 121 minutes
Starring: Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Steve Carell
Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Despite her role as a tennis star, Emma Stone has admitted that she herself is not very skilled at tennis.
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris previously directed Steve Carell in Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
This is the second time Emma Stone and Steve Carrell have worked together since Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011).
Emma Stone performed on Broadway with co-star Alan Cumming in Cabaret.
This will be the first time Emma Stone and Andrea Riseborough have worked together since Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014).
This will be the second time Emma Stone and Martha MacIsaac have worked together since Superbad (2007)