“Battle of the Sexes” enters the competition with a Trailer

Yesterday, Fox Searchlight began the process of creating excitement for one of their big Oscar hopefuls this year. They did that by dropping the first Trailer for Battle of the Sexes, a pseudo biopic that also could be the rare recent sports related movie to score with the Academy. Done properly, the story contained here is big time awards bait. That all remains to be seen, obviously, but the possibilities here are certainly strong. The Trailer pretty much suggests as much too. You’ll be able to see it at the end of this article, as per the usual, but first…a bit of analysis!

The film is a look at the legendary tennis match between champions Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). King was the current number one player in the world in 1973, while Riggs was a former champ and basically a side show act at the time. Initially a publicity stunt, King mostly dismisses Riggs, but the thought of really bringing about a whole new level of respect for women by winning eventually sways her. But, what if Riggs beats her? Students of history know how this will turn out, but it will be a lot of fun to still see it go down. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris direct here, with a script by Simon Beaufoy. In addition to Carell and Stone, the cast includes Alan Cumming, Martha MacIsaac, Natalie Morales, Eric Christian Olsen, Bill Pullman, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, Austin Stowell, Mickey Sumner, and many more. Linus Sandgren is behind the camera for cinematography, while the score comes from Nicholas Britell.

From the looks of it, this should be a fun sports flick/biopic. As an added bonus, a lot of Oscar players from last year are here as well. In addition to Best Actress winner Stone, there’s Best Cinematography winner Sandgren, Best Original Score nominee Britell, and Best Costume Design nominee Mary Zophres. Britell was from Moonlight, while the rest were involved with La La Land. In addition, previous Academy Award nominees Judy Becker (production design) and Pamela Martin (film editing) are working on this one. If Carell and Stone are up to snuff, we already know that Oscar winning scribe Beaufoy has the goods. In fact, Dayton and Faris are highly underrated filmmakers, so there’s lots to like here.

There’s definitely a chance that this turns into a big Academy Award player. Battle of the Sexes should contend across the board, with campaigns in Best Picture, Best Director (for Dayton and Faris), Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor (for Carell), Best Actress (for Stone), Best Supporting Actress (for Riseborough and/or Shue), Best Original Screenplay (for Beaufoy), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Original Score. Assuming it’s a quality picture, at least a handful of these seem fairly likely. We won’t know for a bit, but the Trailer is definitely promising.

Below you can see the Trailer for Battle of the Sexes, with more presumably coming between now and its September 22nd release date. There’s also a Poster that you can scope out as well. Late September is a long way off, as you probably already know, and frankly, it isn’t always the best time to put out an Oscar player, but quality trumps all. For the moment, this seems like a movie to keep on predicting. You’ll see how I rank the film in a few days when new Academy Award predictions for the month drop. Until then, check out the Trailer and sit tight…

Here now is the Trailer for Battle of the Sexes:

Stay tuned for plenty more on Battle of the Sexes over the course of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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