Archive for the ‘Valerie Faris’ Category

The Virginia Slims

Battle of the Sexes

Directors: Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, Bill Pullman, Eric Christian Olsen, Wallace Langham, Austin Stowell

Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks directing duo Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton take on the extremely pertinent subject of gender inequality in sports in their latest film, Battle of the Sexes, a highly entertaining cinematic recreation of a historic tennis match which took place between the brash egotist and compulsive gambler Bobby Riggs and tennis women’s superstar Billie Jean King at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas in 1973.

Oscar winner Emma Stone (La La Land) plays Billie Jean King a tennis champion at the top of her game who is married yet battling with her own sexuality as she meets the provocative Californian hairdresser Marilyn Barnett wonderfully played by Andrea Riseborough (Nocturnal Animals, Birdman).

Oscar nominee Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) plays the exuberant Bobby Riggs, the fiftyish tennis pro and self-proclaimed male chauvinist pig who is having a last gasp at his youth and decides to provoke Billie Jean King into a publicity tennis matched aptly named Battle of the Sexes. Riggs who is a sports hustler and whose lavish career is supported by his wealthy wife Priscilla Riggs superbly played against type by Oscar nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas).

Comedian Sarah Silverman stars as the outspoken Gladys Heldman who champions Billie Jean King and a collection of aspiring female tennis players to start their own female tennis match sponsored by Virginia slims cigarettes. This is in response to the chauvinism and unequal pay dispute between the women players and the exorbitant salaries that their male tennis players get which is almost ten times the amount.

The reason for this inequality, as sports commentator and organizer Jack Kramer played by Bill Pullman gives is that the tennis watching public love men’s tennis and that the male tennis players have ten times the stamina, strength and speed to sustain an exciting match unlike their less competitive female counterparts. Naturally this outdated mode of thinking has thankfully be reversed by the recent star power of such female tennis champions as Venus and Serena Williams.

Battle of the Sexes is a relevant film not only in terms of recent sexual harassment scandals which has rocked the Hollywood establishment but also in terms of LGTQ rights in sports, a controversial subject which has barely been explored in contemporary cinema.

As Billie Jean King’s husband Larry, played by Austin Stowell (Bridge of Spies), says to her lover in one poignant scene, all that sponsorship of hotel rooms, flights and TV coverage would evaporate if King came out as a lesbian. Which she eventually did in the wake of the 1970’s queer rights campaign that activists like Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones fought for so vehemently, brilliantly illustrated in the Oscar winning Gus van Sant film Milk.

Battle of the Sexes is a thoroughly entertaining film about two tennis professionals who not only stake the reputations on a publicity tennis match. Battle of the Sexes is peppered with some flamboyant supporting roles including Sarah Silverman and Alan Cumming as Cuthbert Tinling whilst held together by exemplary performances by Stone and Carell.

Battle of the Sexes gets a film rating of 8 out of 10, featuring wonderful seventies tennis costumes by Costume Designer Mary Zophres capturing the zeitgeist of the decade, adding to a thoroughly slick and entertaining sports film.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
  • From Disney Plus and HBO Max to Latin America’s Content Explosion, 10 Takeaways From MipCancun Online Plus
    Focused on Latin America and U.S. Hispanic markets, last week’s MipCancun Online Plus market-conference was a boutique affair, attracting 600 delegates from 500 companies and 44 countries. Far more than MipTV and even Mipcom, however, MipCancun’s lineup of speakers marked a virtual who’s who of relevant leading industry figures, led by the top executives for […]
    John Hopewell
  • Ken Jennings to Guest Host First New ‘Jeopardy!’ Episodes After Death of Alex Trebek
    Weeks after the passing of legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, Sony Pictures Television has announced that popular contestant and “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” tournament winner Ken Jennings will serve as the first of a series of interim guest hosts when the trivia game show returns to production on Monday, Nov. 30. “Alex believed in […]
    Elaine Low
  • ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always,’ ‘Things We Dare Not Do’ Win at Los Cabos
    Eliza Hittman’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” won the top prize at Mexico’s Los Cabos Film Festival, adding the award to a brace of trophies dating back this year to a Silver Bear at Berlin and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award in Sundance. Tipped as a contender in 2021’s Oscar race, teen drama “Never Rarely […]
    John Hopewell
  • K-Pop Titans Super Junior Sign With ICM (EXCLUSIVE)
    ICM Partners has signed K-Pop titans Super Junior for representation in all territories except Asia, the company has announced. The group released its debut album in 2005 and broke through internationally with their 2009 song “Sorry Sorry.” Over the years the group has won 13 Mnet Asian Music Awards, 19 Golden Disc Awards and US […]
    Variety Staff
  • Anthony Mackie to Star in and Produce Netflix Thriller ‘The Ogun’
    Anthony Mackie will produce and star in Netflix’s upcoming action-adventure “The Ogun” from producer Jason Michael Berman. “The Ogun” centers on Mackie’s character Xavier Rhodes, who takes his teenage daughter to Nigeria to find a cure for the rare genetic condition that he passed on to her. When his daughter is kidnapped, Rhodes goes on […]
    Dave McNary
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90