"It was obvious she was far superior as an athlete".
But none of it matters, because the writing, directing, and, most of all, the acting at the core of "Battle of the Sexes" is so fundamentally strong. Nor did King break down and cry alone in the locker room as Stone does after the historic win. "I realized it was an elitist sport", King says in the documentary.
"My anxiety was constant", she said. When the self-proclaimed "male chauvinist pig" challenges the feminist King to a "Battle of the Sexes" worth $100,000, King accepts the challenge, viewing it as a pivotal moment to score a victory for women's rights. She doesn't really dwell that much on the past, so I think this was actually not easy for her to kind of revisit and relive some of these memories. However, through Carell's nuanced portrayal we understand that Riggs was a man who was so desperate to be liked that he would spout anything to get attention. She said she hadn't watched the match in 25 years. "The woman is truly a legend". Marilyn ends up going on tour with the players as their hairdresser, and she and Billie Jean embark on an affair. We're going to be able to stop and have a drink after work. That included King, who continued to serve as a celebrated leader in the subsequent decades and today.
If the film appears lily-white for modern audiences, save for Original 9 player Rosie Casals (Natalie Morales), whose parents immigrated from El Salvador, Faris and Dayton have accurately depicted the world of tennis before women like Venus and Serena Williams and Stephens dominated the court. But on September 20, 1973, Antoine was a senior in college, crowded around a tiny black-and-white TV with her roommates. However, for all that has changed in the 44 years since Ms. King's match with Riggs, so much remains the same.
Stone, who is 28, and King, the 73-year-old tennis great, became good friends while making the movie. In the process she nearly literally ran her opponent out of the stadium, winning in straight sets. The picture illustrates herself and a tiny green "monster" which represents her anxiety.
"In many ways, it's pretty shocking to see how little has changed and how much we still need to move the needle forward", she says. The WNBA has only 12 teams, just four more than when it started in 1996, and television ratings are still microscopic. The publicity of the event, combined with the passage of Title IX law, anti-gender discrimination, is largely credited with an increase in women playing sports.
Here again, what makes Battle of the Sexes so special is that it doesn't cheapen King's adversity by personifying it in a cheesy villain.
And remarkably, her own candidness led Colbert to share that he too once suffered from panic attacks, during his early twenties while performing improv at Chicago's famed Second City. His heiress wife (Elisabeth Shue) tells him, "You're like a little kid, you know that?" It was encouraging, it was uplifting.
"He's always really amusing, but he's not somebody who "needs" to make you laugh", she said, describing Mr. Carell as "ego-less".
Billie Jean and her brother went to high school at Long Beach Poly. She was fighting to prove that women were worthy of equal pay, to showcase the mighty strength of female athletes, and stand up to someone who embodied very antiquated ideals. Mrs. King made her entrance on a carriage, borne by six muscular males like a reigning Egyptian queen.
DAYTON: "Battle Of The Sexes", yeah. She was ranked No. 2 in the world when she agreed to play the match for a $10,000 payday.
Carell is remarkable not only in the hoopla scenes, in which this showman seems on top of the world, but also in the quieter moments when, facing defeat on the court, the goofiness dissolves and a stricken look crosses his face.