Criticism | King Richard: Creating Champions: Will Smith shines in emotional biopic about Williams’ tennis players

Film biographies always fall in the popular taste to show behind the scenes stories we already know, but love to revisit. These films are vehicles for awarding the Oscar to the star chosen to represent such a story, see Rami Malek in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and / or Reese Whiterspoon in ‘Johnny & June’.

Now it’s Will Smith’s turn to try his luck. Alongside Tom Cruise, Smith is one of the most influential and successful movie stars of the 1990s who has yet to win an Oscar. He has already had two nominations, for ‘Ali’ (2001) and ‘In Search of Happiness’ (2006), but he never took the statuette.

And I can already say that the actor has a good chance, for a magnificent portrayal as King Richard of the title – a man of humble origins who creates two future tennis champions: Venus and Serena Williams. The actor delivers one of the best performances of his career, assisted by actress Aunjanue Ellis as Williams’ matriarch.

Motivated by a clear vision for his daughters’ future, using his own unconventional training methods, Richard has a detailed plan to take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, Calif., To courts around the world like legends. tennis. Deeply moving, the film portrays the importance of family, perseverance and unwavering faith as instruments to achieve the impossible and transform the world.

Serena has held 23 solo Grand Slam titles since her debut in 1999, making her one of the greatest athletes in history; Venus, in turn, began her career in 2000 and also received several awards. The sisters together have 14 titles in pairs.

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In addition to Smith and Ellis, who steal the stages, there are daughters Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton – who simply put on a show as the Williams sisters.

With an elegant and neat staging by Reinaldo Marcus Green, ‘King Richard: Creating Champions’ is an emotional film that knows how to hold the viewer’s attention in its long 2 hours and 26 minutes, with a humorous script that knows how to take advantage the best of its stars. Sometimes it seems a bit bloated and overly dramatic, but that doesn’t detract from the end result. It’s a nice addition to biopics and the word “Oscar” is stamped on it. It remains to be seen how the competition will unfold during the ceremony in 2022.

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