Tuesday, January 04, 2022

King Richard: My Review

Wait.  Wrong King Richard

I was leery about KING RICHARD going in.  It’s about the Williams sisters and yet the focus is on the dad.  And it stars Will Smith who wants an Oscar more than Wile E. Coyote wants the Road Runner, and every year he stars in another prestige movie holding the Acme rocket launcher.  And every year Leo DiCaprio gets the nomination.  Beep beep!  

This year, however, I think he’s going to get it.  In KING RICHARD he gives his best performance and carries this movie to victory.  Although 2 1/2 hours, it managed to hold my interest.  Unlike LICORICE PIZZA, I don’t think I could cut out a half hour that easily.  KING RICHARD is a very standard biopic telling a linear story, but it works.  And along the way there are some terrific scenes.  You don’t have to love tennis to enjoy this movie.   Yes, it has that Hollywood studio feel-good “dreams can come true” pouring out of every frame of celluloid, but you know that the story is real.  And feels authentic.  There’s no RICARDO trickery where events are made up to accommodate the narrative.  Venus doesn’t win Wimbledon at twelve.  

Kudos to director Reinaldo Marcus Green and screenwriter Zach Baylin along with everyone in the cast.  Among the many standouts: Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, and Jon Bernthal.  But everyone was terrific.  

This is the kind of movie you don’t need to see in a theatre.  It’s tennis matches not epic space battles.  Your living room will be just fine.  But I recommend it.  Will Smith turned me around.  The Road Runner is in trouble this year. 


Daniel said...

I had zero expectations for King Richard going into it (I didn't even know it existed until the week it dropped on HBO Max), but I loved the film. It could have easily veered into treacly and saccharine territory, but it successfully avoided that.

Tim G said...

Life is too short for indulging any of the obnoxious Pinkett-Smith/Smith family overshares and bids for attention and awards. I can't imagine what could knock them off my dealbreaker list.

MikeKPa. said...

I really enjoyed this movie and agree that Will Smith (a Philly guy) is the front runner for the Oscar. Not a bad first effort from Zach Baylin. He spoke to the Williams sisters a lot which really helped add layers to the characters. The way the girls unquestioningly idolized and followed their father speaks volumes. He had a plan and they made it work.

daniel said...

um. its "Meep Meep."

Ted. said...

I also thought Will Smith was great in the lead of this movie, but making his character the nearly sole focus led to a less interesting story than it might have had been. We only get hints about the more negative facts about his life -- for example, on the way to becoming the seemingly perfect dad to a perfect family, he apparently had children from another marriage who felt essentially abandoned. What was it about him that allowed him to do that, and how did he feel about it? We never find out. We also learn very little about how Venus and Serena Williams -- two of the greatest athletes in history -- felt about their father making all those eccentric decisions regarding their training and careers. (Could they have become champions by following a more traditional route? Who knows?) In general, a little less hero-worship of the celebrity-played person at the top of this film could have given it more depth.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

I think I share the same trepidation as you do in seeing this film, but I do want to see it. I don't want to pass judgment on it based just on the trailer. Trailers suck. It's always a montage of out of context scenes with incessant annoying music behind them.

The last thing I need right now is a "feel-good" movie, so I hope it's not that. But it sounds like it's worth watching.

alan0825 said...

I've often thought that Jim Carrey was just as bad about wanting an Oscar because Robin Williams won his. Is Will having some Jamie Foxx envy?

Mitch said...

We need more award shows. Meep meep

What is funny that now people are bouncing around saying how important oscars are, but after the nominations, they get discredited. They don't mean much because so and so was over looked, or they nominated so and so and they don't deserve it.

But we need more award shows.

Kevin B said...

I'll check it out. I put up with over 2 hours of LICORICE PIZZA the other night, this has to be better.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

There has already been a documentary (series, i think) in which the sisters have pride of place, so it's not unfair that their father gets one.

Next up, Oracene?


YEKIMI said...

pouring out of every frame of celluloid

You're showing your age. Nowadays it should be pouring out of every digital byte. [Although it COULD have been shot on film]
And that brings up a Friday question: Do you prefer shows shot digitally or on film?

Cap'n Bob said...

I got tired of Will Smith years ago, and I'm convinced that Serena Williams is really Mike Tyson in a skirt. Nothing here for me.

Anna B said...

Ere I Saw Elba1/04/2022 9:18 AM.
“I don't want to pass judgment on it based just on the trailer. Trailers suck. It's always a montage of out of context scenes with incessant annoying music behind them.”

Is there a more skillfully-edited, spoiler-packed, Oscar bait trailer than the 3/23/2017 one for Three Billboards?
Adding sounds from some scenes to the visuals of others, using a song not in the film as bridging music, showcasing most of the action and comedy highlights, it propelled an “art house” movie to both box office and Oscar glory.


THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI | Official Red Band Trailer | FOX Searchlight 2:41 Minutes

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI | Official Trailer B | FOX Searchlight. 1:07 Minutes

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI | Uncensored First 10 Minutes | FOX Searchlight. 8:10 (not 10:00) minutes