“Battle of the Sexes” screened at the Telluride Film Festival on Saturday and the initial reactions were as enthusiastic as they were for the actual Battle of the Sexes that dominated headlines in 1973. Along with reactions to the film itself, many viewers took to Twitter to report the lengthy standing ovation as the credits rolled.
The film tells the story of past-his-prime tennis champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), who famously challenged women’s tennis champ Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to the epic match that would be dubbed the Battle of the Sexes. As the media coverage hits a crescendo, the story hits on numerous social issues, particularly equality and sexuality.
Stone won the Academy Award for Best Actress last year with her role in “La La Land.” She was also nominated in 2015 for her supporting role in “Birdman.” Carell received an Oscar nomination for his depiction of John DuPont in “Foxcatcher.” The two previously worked together in the romantic comedy “Crazy Stupid Love.”
“Battle of the Sexes” was directed by the Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. They previously directed Academy Award-nominated “Little Miss Sunshine,” which also starred Carell. The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy. He won an Academy Award for adapting “Slumdog Millionaire,” and was nominated for 1997’s “The Full Monty” and 2010’s “127 Hours.”
Emma Stone introduced the film at Telluride alongside Billie Jean King herself. As the screening ended, the praise immediately began to hit Twitter.
Moved/inspired beyond words by Battle of the Sexes. Instant winner! Equal rights/equal pay for women! Love is love! Woo hoo! #Telluride
— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) September 2, 2017
BATTLES OF THE SEXES is a battle of fine performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, in a film that's timely, entertaining and moving.
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) September 2, 2017
Be sure to read the review from Awards Circuit’s own Mark Johnson.
“Battle of the Sexes” is being distributed by Fox Searchlight and will be in theaters September 22.