Tagged: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Summary:  A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after the coaching from their father Richard Williams.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  13th January 2022 (Australia), 19th November 2021 (UK), 19th November 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 19th November 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Screenwriter: Zach Baylin

Cast: Susie Abromeit (Robin Finn), Mikayla Lashae Bartholomew (Tunde Prince), Andy Bean (Laird Stabler), Katrina Begin (Anne (WTA CEO)), Jon Bernthal (Rick Macci), Vivienne Bersin (Stacey), Judith Chapman (Nancy Reagan), Kaitlyn Christian (Shaun Stafford), Layla Crawford (Lydrea Prince), Josiah Cross (TD), Chase Del Rey (Pete Sampras), Kevin Dunn (Vic Braden), Aunjanue Ellis (Oracene ‘Brandy’ Williams), Eman Esfandi (Barry), Tony Goldwyn (Paul Cohen), Brad Greenguist (Bud Collins), Chet Grissom (Matthew Titone), Andy Hoff (Stacey’s Dad – Trevor), Daniele Lawson (Isha Price), Dylan McDermott (George Macarthur), Erika Ringor (Ms. Strickland), Saniyya Sidney (Venus Williams), Demi Singleton (Serena Williams), Will Smith (Richard Williams), Rich Sommer (Patrick Dougherty), Craig Tate (Bells), Jessica Wacnik (Jennifer Capriati), Gjee Wade II (Og), Christopher Wallinger (John McEnroe), Marcela Zacarias (Arantxa Sanchez Vicario)

Running Time: 144 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR KING RICHARD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ King Richard Review:

One of the reasons that sports biopics often fail is because it is often obvious that the filmmakers behind the film were so in love with their subject that the view that they present in the film is that the sports’ star is a hero that had no weaknesses or faults. Or if they do they are what drove them to success.

Brand new biopic King Richard doesn’t do that though. Here director, Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters & Men), tells the story of one of US sports most recognisable cult heroes – yet he is someone that never took the court himself. The second thing that Green does is that he puts the story out on the table and then allows the audience to make up their own mind about whether the person in question is a hero or villain.

The person at hand is Richard Williams (Will Smith Bad Boys) the father of tennis greats Venus (Saniyya Sidney – Fences) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton – Goldie). The film chronicles on Richard had a plan for his daughters before they were even born but how he and his wife, Oracene Williams (Aunjanue Ellis – Ray), worked hard to teach their daughters all the ins and outs of tennis despite the obstacles the neighbourhood placed in their way.

Determined on his mission though Richard keeps working as hard as he can to see the goals achieved even if it at times means clashing with the girl’s early coaches, including Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal – The Walking Dead).

While it may not seem so to the average cinema goer Green overcomes a lot of obstacles to make this film work. Despite the fact that we all know where the Williams sisters end up with their careers Green and his screenwriter, Zach Baylin (Come As You Are), still make the film suspenseful as Richard first of all tries to help the girls escape their environment and catch the attention of the some of the world’s best coaches. That is no mean feat, but it is something that Green manages to do well throughout the film.

The second major obstacle that the film overcomes is that society has mixed opinions on Richard Williams. While some see him as a sporting hero who helped his daughters overcome massive odds other see him an overbearing parent who was working towards his own goals and dreams and used his daughters to get there. To Green’s credit this film shows both sides of that argument, in a really natural way, and lets the audience make up their own minds on whether they think Richard was in the right or the wrong.

Green also makes this film very accessible for those that may not know a thing about tennis. In a way this is not a sporting story but a story of a family determined to work hard to make a better life for themselves. A lot of the more touching moments throughout this film happen away from the court – whether it be scenes between Richard and Oracene or moments between father and daughter, all of these scenes work throughout the film without it ever becoming something cheesy that Hallmark would like.

The film itself also brings out the best in its actors. Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton are young stars on the rise while the seasoned actors here come to the fore. Will Smith plays the often unsure yet determined Richard Williams so well that he deserves to come into Awards contention. You literally forget that you are watching Will Smith in this film and there are times throughout this film where you swear by Smith’s facial expression that he is even trying to ‘think’ like Williams.

Also bringing his A-Game to the table here is Jon Bernthal who over the past few years has shown Hollywood just what a versatile actor he really is. It seems no matter what role Bernthal finds himself playing he falls into character with ease and here we see him rise to the occasion with many of more tense scenes playing out between himself and Will Smith. The result is cinematic gold.

King Richard is one of the most intriguing sports films that I have watched over the past few years. As director Green makes a well known story suspenseful and dramatic and Will Smith delivers one of the best performances of his career.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

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Trailer:

Based on the true story that will inspire the world, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever.  Two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Bad Boys for Life”) stars as Richard, under the direction of Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”). Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, California to the global stage as legendary icons.  The profoundly moving film shows the power of family, perseverance and unwavering belief as a means to achieve the impossible and impact the world.

Aunjanue Ellis (“If Beale Street Could Talk,” TV’s “Quantico”) plays the girls’ mom, Oracene “Brandi” Williams, Saniyaa Sidney (“Hidden Figures,” “Fences”) stars as Venus Williams, Demi Singleton (TV’s “Godfather of Harlem”) stars as Serena Williams, with Tony Goldwyn (the “Divergent” series, TV’s “Scandal”) as coach Paul Cohen and Jon Bernthal (upcoming “The Many Saints of Newark,” “Ford v Ferrari”) as coach Rick Macci.  The ensemble also includes Andy Bean (“IT Chapter Two”), Kevin Dunn (the “Transformers” films, HBO’s “Veep”) and Craig Tate (“Greyhound”). Green directed “King Richard” from a screenplay written by Zach Baylin.  The producers were Tim White and Trevor White under their Star Thrower Entertainment banner, and Will Smith under his Westbrook banner.  Isha Price, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adam Merims, Lynn Harris, Allan Mandelbaum, Jon Mone and Peter Dodd served as the executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-winning director of photography Robert Elswit (“There Will Be Blood”), production designers Wynn Thomas (“Da 5 Bloods,” “Hidden Figures”) and William Arnold (“The Hate U Give”), Oscar-nominated editor Pamela Martin (“The Fighter”), and two-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Sharen Davis (“Dreamgirls,” “Ray”).  The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Kris Bowers (“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” “A Concerto is a Conversation”). A Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation, A Star Thrower Entertainment Production, A Westbrook Production, A Keepin’ It Reel Production, “King Richard” is slated for international theatrical release from in November.

From filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green (MONSTERS AND MEN; upcoming KING RICHARD),along with the Academy Award winning writing team behind BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Diana Ossana & Larry McMurtry) and Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg, JOE BELL tells the intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying.

JOE BELL is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and stars Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Britton, Gary Sinise.