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Opening Night: Battle of the Sexes (NI Premiere)
The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs became the most watched televised sports event of all time
AFTER PARTY RECEPTION in Martha’s Vineyard at the Brunswick Moviebowl. Enjoy a glass of wine and good food at Martha's Vineyard, and help us launch the 30th Foyle Film Festival in style.
In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's- champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the Battle Of The Sexes and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.
As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into top gear, off the court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. While Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue).
Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions around the world.
“Stone has never been better…”
- Sasha Stone, The Wrap
“Billie Jean King’s showdown stunt fixture against retired men’s champion Bobby Riggs is played for more than just laughs in this smart, feminist comedy... Contrives to say a fair amount about gender discrimination and homophobia in the guise of a feel-good comedy.”
- Tom Charity, Sight & Sound