“King Richard” movie review

By Hannah Rainford | Staff Writer

“King Richard” tells the story of tennis heroes Serena and Venus Williams, and how they grew under the coaching of their father, Richard Williams (Will Smith). Photo courtesy of IMDb.

Sometimes Compton minivans are the perfect ride to Grand Slam titles. 

Following the untold story from tennis royals Venus and Serena Williams’ gritty beginnings to their now enthroned places in history, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s latest film, “King Richard,” unravels the sister duo’s hard-fought rise to fame through an unconventional yet utterly honest lens.

Hitting theaters on November 29, 2021, Warner Bros. 50 million dollar budget allotted for the intentional creation of a piece which would go on to garner nearly as many awards as the Williams sisters themselves, earning best actor and actress, as well as six nominations at the 94th Academy Awards (including Best Picture), seven nominations at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards (including Outstanding Motion Picture), six nominations at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards (including Best Picture) and four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards (including Best Motion Picture – Drama). Its cast, consisting of Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, features veteran black talent along with up-and-coming stars, giving depth and voice to its piercing portrait of this Black family. 

“The most dangerous creature on this whole earth is a woman who knows how to think,” Richard impresses upon his daughters within his namesake film. It becomes increasingly clear throughout “King Richard” that the Williams family held humility and integrity above any trophy or title and understood that such successes were attainable only by uncommon sacrifice and perseverance. Equal parts family drama, cultural spotlight and sports documentary, Green’s recent work illuminates the unseen rise to fame of Venus and Serena Williams and unveils the 78-page-plan, “Cinderella” viewings and VHS highlight-reels orchestrated by their father that led them through numerous trials and to even more victories. 

No punches barred, “King Richard” doesn’t mask the racial oppression and violence that painted the lives of so many throughout 1980’s America – the same pain forced on so many today – and gifts its audience a lesson-filled glimpse into a reality that so many films choose to gloss over. 

A portrait of love, tenacity and patience, this piece is perfect for any viewer to feel all the wonder of a familial bond and Wimbledon triumph in the same two hours. Overall, this movie deserves 5 out of 5 pinecones.

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