King Richard (Parent And Baby Screening)Cast: Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal, Will Smith, Dylan McDermott, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Aunjanue Ellis
Author(s): Zach Baylin
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Release Date: 19/11/2021
Running Time: 144mins
Richard Williams devotes every waking minute to nurturing the sporting talents of his daughters Venus and Serena with the unstinting support of his wife Brandy. The patriarch masterminds a long-term plan to propel his girls to the top of the tennis rankings. Focusing initially on Venus, Richard secures the coaching services of Paul Cohen to expose his daughter to regular competition. As Venus's star ascends, Serena also shows promise and Richard eyes a new coach, Rick Macci.
LondonNet Film Review
King Richard (12A)
Behind young sports prodigies are dedicated parents toiling long hours as chauffeurs and emotional support staff. Sir Andy Murray was on a tennis court with his mother Judy at the age of three, Tom Daley’s electrician father Rob hard-wired his son’s talents on a diving board and Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony worked multiple jobs to turbo-charge his son’s chances on a Formula 1 circuit. Richard Williams, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena, generated headlines with his behaviour on and off the court in the sisters’ formative years when he laid the foundations of a sporting dynasty in Compton, California with his detailed plan for greatness. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s biographical drama summarises the milestone moments, focusing on a man who boldly proclaims, “Venus and Serena gonna shake up this world” long before either athlete makes Centre Court at Wimbledon their playground…
Scripted by Zach Baylin, King Richard gifts Will Smith one of his best roles in years, Oscar consideration is inevitable, which draws heavily on the actor’s innate likability as a fiery, flawed patriarch, who conveniently forgets past mistakes and rankles his wife into the stinging rebuke: “Unlike you, I don’t need the world to tell me I’m great.” Green’s picture double-faults with supporting characters too many times to warrant such lofty praise but it is resolutely crowd-pleasing and uplifting.
Staunch authoritarian Richard Williams (Smith) devotes every waking minute to nurturing the raw talent of daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) on a neighbourhood tennis court. He is a stickler for good manners. When the sisters loudly delight in the downfall of a rival during a homeward-bound car journey, Richard contemplates leaving the girls stranded at a convenience store as a lesson in humility. “Let them brag walking three miles home,” he seethes to incredulous second wife Oracene (Aunjanue Ellis).
The patriarch masterminds a long-term plan to propel his girls to the top of the tennis rankings. Richard focuses initially on Venus and relentlessly pursues Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn) to become her coach. “You are the most stubborn person I’ve met in my life,” gasps Cohen. “And I’ve coached McEnroe!” As Venus’s star ascends, Serena shows great promise and Richard looks to new mentor Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal) in Florida to take his dreamgirls to the next level.
King Richard elicits winning performances from Smith and young co-stars Sidney and Singleton but goes into an unnecessary fifth set in terms of running time. The title character’s rough edges are repeatedly polished by Baylin’s script – one alarming episode with a gun has no explanation beyond what unfolds on screen or ramifications – and marital strife is neatly contained in a couple of scenes. Glorious ends apparently justify iron-fisted means.
– Sarah Lee
UK and Irish Cinemas Showing King Richard (Parent And Baby Screening)
From: Friday 3rd December
To: Thursday 9th December
From: Friday 10th December
To: Thursday 16th December
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