At its heart, Battle of the Sexes is the story of a publicity stunt that went hideously wrong for its sponsor and in doing so caused a revolution in the world of women’s sport.
In 1973, Bobby Riggs, a former champion tennis player and world-class chauvinist, made a public claim that no woman pro-tennis player could beat any male pro-player.
What develops from this statement by an uncomfortably horrible braggart leads to a match between himself and Miss Billie Jean King.
Ms King was already established in the world of women’s tennis and leading their struggle for equal pay.
What follows is a portrait of institutional sexism at its most patronising insidiousness.
This story is not however crying into its hands.
Humour balances pathos and excitement balances emotion to give a well-rounded story that will educate and delight in equal measure.
Emma Stone portrayal of Billie Jean King is very believable.
Comedic actor Steve Carell gives a very controlled, reined in performance of an overconfident, addictive character as Bobby Riggs, good enough for possible award consideration.
He makes you laugh, loathe and pity this sad man, who is so wrapped up in his past glories, allowing his boasting lead him to an inevitable downfall.
As a sports movie, this is one of the very best I have ever seen.
A sporting 4 out of five stars for this biopic.
The Limehouse Golem has a great deal going for it.
It is based on the novel by Peter Ackroyd and then turned into a tight, witty and gripping script by Jane Goldman.
Bill Nighy takes the male lead. He delivers an excellent, gripping performance of a gentle but tortured soul in a harsh world.
Olivia Cooke as the protagonist also gives a fine portrayal, mixing light and dark, truth and lies with a fine touch.
Do not be misled by the Golem in the title. This is neither a horror story nor fantasy. It is a drama based on the reality of Victorian East London just prior to the reign of Jack the Ripper.
Those who have enjoyed the TV series ‘Ripper Street’ will be well satisfied by this tale. Fans of Mr Nighy will be delighted with his return to top form.
One of the best films this summer, well deserving of 5 out of five stars.
A film for adults during the school holidays is always welcome and this one does not by-and-large disappoint.
A spy thriller set at the end of the cold war makes a rich environment for fast paced violent action, peppered with some bare flesh and ‘adult cuddles’ that will sit well with Bond fans. There are also enough twists and turns in the plot to keep Le Carré readers happy.
But that is also where the problem lays.
The first hour and thirty minutes give a really good film worth 4 stars if not five.
However, as we reach the climax, it all gets so confusing.
I lost the plot completely. Call me Confused of Guildford.
It must have taken me a good couple of hours of replaying the scenes in my head to work out who was as the good, the bad and the ugly. I think I understand now, but I could still be wrong.
If you do see this film, I suspect you may get the ending far sooner than your humble writer.
For that reason alone I give this film 3 out of five stars.