Starring Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Dylan McDermo, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn
I hesitate to make bold awards predictions even though by mid-November we are knee deep in the films that will vie for top honors. With that being said, unless there’s another best actor contender hiding somewhere, Will Smith is the one to beat for his transformative performance in “King Richard.” The two-time Oscar nominee, known more for his action roles and blockbusters than his serious acting, has finally found the role that will nab him that gold statue.
Richard Williams (Smith), father to Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton), was and is a character like no other we have seen on screen. Without the right charismatic actor portraying the larger than life figure, he might come across as a villain, or at least someone who repels the audience. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Joe Bell”) and screenwriter Zach Baylin have crafted a film that rings true, but more than that, it works with the strengths of Smith as an actor.
“King Richard” isn’t reinventing the cinematic wheel like “Dune”, “The Power of the Dog” or “Belfast”, competition is will face in many categories. It’s a performance driven dramedy that will appeal to the entire family.
“King Richard” isn’t a sport film, the best sports film never are. It’s a story about a family, a dream and the foresight of one hard-headed individual. In many ways, “King Richard” is the ultimate family film, detailing the incredible back story to one of the most astonishing legacies in tennis and sport history.
While Smith is the best actor frontrunner, his wife in the film, co-star Aunjanue Ellis (“Ray,” “The Help”), is equally as good on screen. In a few scenes, she must reign in her husband with a brilliant balance of delicacy and stern language. “Her scene” that also will likely lead to an Oscar nomination in supporting actress, is a turning point in the film, a tour de force, right there in the kitchen.
“King Richard” isn’t reinventing the cinematic wheel like the competition “Dune,” “The Power of the Dog” or “Belfast,” will face in many categories. It’s a performance-driven dramedy that will appeal to the entire family.
Will Smith is the one to beat for his transformative performance in “King Richard”.