Tag Archives: King Richard

THE DAY IS HERE!! COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST PICTURE

It’s HERE!! The Holy Grail of all Holy Grail’s aka the Superbowl Sunday of Movies – otherwise known as ‘THE OSCARS’. It’s the final day of my Oscar Countdown and I’ve saved the biggest and best for last. This is a very good slate of films, and most of them deserve to be here. And for the last time this year – I give who I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ. And the nominees are:

BEST PICTURE

NOMINEES

BELFAST Possible upset win

Belfast was beautifully film in black and white, with a wonderful cast lead by a young man that should’ve had a Best Actor nom himself, Jude Hill. It’s a story-telling film, and be on the lookout everyone as we all forget sometimes that the Academy loves these kinds of films, as do I. It’s a very big possibility as the upset win – and I won’t be mad at that one at all.

Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers

CODA WINNER/MY PICK

CODA is a one-of-a-kind film. It’s tells so much, it’s got so many layers to it and for the first time in memory, features an almost entire deaf cast that speaking in ASL almost for the entire film. It’s about a father/daughter relationship, about life’s struggles, about the struggles of the disabled, and the story of one girls dreams woven throughout it. Some might see it as weak – I saw it as nothing but beautiful. Again, it’s story-telling at some of it’s finest.

Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers

DON’T LOOK UP

I’ll never understand the hatred for this one – I enjoyed it. It played upon so many real-life things, maybe not always done perfectly, but done so sarcastically and I love wit and sarcasm like this. Will it win, nah, but it was fun.

Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers

DRIVE MY CAR

We’ve had a couple great upsets last year with an International Film sweeping the Awards. Do I think the three-hour runtime might have hurt this one with Oscar voters – maybe. But I loved every minute of it as it was one of the few movies of that length that I had no problem sitting through.

Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer

DUNE

I know many people have mad love for this one – I am on the ‘like’ side of it. I don’t think it’s going to be the upset or my win. Sorry Dune fans – nothing but love for you all though.

Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers

KING RICHARD

King Richard is just a heartwarming story – no doubt about it. While it’s not perfect and yes, glosses over a few things but it’s sad that it never found that audience in theaters. For me as a tennis fan, it worked and it has a great ending that got even me emotional.

Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers

LICORICE PIZZA

I had such high hopes going into this one – having heard the raving reviews up until that time. They made it extremely hard to see for a long time though, and when I finally did, I was more than just a little bit let down. No one runs from one side of the Valley to the other – no one. It had a few fun moments, but the Asian speaking thing was not funny, and I was surprised at how someone thought it would be.

Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers

NIGHTMARE ALLEY

I can’t begin to explain how much I love Guillermo del Toro. This film was one of my favourite of the year – though I realize others didn’t feel the same, and I saw their points as well. If I could pick two – this would be my second pick.

Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers

THE POWER OF THE DOG

Again, the hype around TPOTD before it even came out was this one person telling me it was going to be the Best Picture of the Year. After seeing it, while I tend to disagree with that point, that I think they now do as well, it does have something to it. Let’s be clear, I don’t dislike film, it’s just not the end-all, be-all that was hyped to me. And I’m not sure it’s backed up with favorable response from absolutely everyone either. The ending though – that ending wow’d me.

Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers

WEST SIDE STORY

West Side Story also won’t win. But I do think it was terrific and I was floored by the dancing, chorography and costumes. It’s not about whether it’s better or worse than the original. It’s about the age old question of should some things be re-made at all? I can’t answer that one – but I do love originality.

Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

The last thing I can say is forget about fighting over who wins or who loses. Everyone likes different things, celebrate that instead. And most of all – Enjoy the Oscars!

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DAY 5 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST ACTOR

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Here we are – Day Five of my ‘SEVEN DAYS OF OSCARS’ countdown and we are at ‘Best Actor”. Once again I give who I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ. The only thing I can add here is it is a crying shame that Jude Hill was not nominated in this category as that young man deserved to be here. But alas here we are – Will Smith might just be the winner here as he is so good in “King Richard.” But hot on his heels will be Andrew Garfield.

NOMINEES

JAVIER BARDEMBeing the Ricardos

As much as I love Javier – this isn’t his movie to win this award on.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCHThe Power of the Dog

I remember a few weeks before this movie came out, one of those ‘know it all’ movie people told me they already knew who was going to win the Oscar and it was going to be Benedict. While I find him a good actor, I never find him able to pull off accents and that was again, my issue here – along with the fact being I never once believed he was a cowboy.

ANDREW GARFIELDtick, tick…BOOM! VERY POSSIBLE WINNER

Andrew is honestly in a tie with Will here – I know many that hope, wish and will lose sleep if he doesn’t. What he does do is manages to make this whole film work, as I honestly didn’t know much about Jonathan Larson before this film. Go for it Andrew – give us an upset.  

WILL SMITHKing Richard WINNER/MY PICK

The minute I saw Will Smith as Richard Williams, I couldn’t believe how he picked up the nuances of the man so well. Being an avid tennis fan for YEARS now, I’ve seen the man be exactly who is was in the film, in person. And they left a lot on the sidewalk as well. Granted Smith should’ve won for Ali – but this, this is his Oscar to win.

DENZEL WASHINGTONThe Tragedy of Macbeth

How do you ignore Denzel in anything? Answer is: you don’t. Though Macbeth in and of itself, is not an exciting play to watch – Denzel does give it his take. I just don’t think it’s going to be enough to walk away with the statue this year.

Thanks all for taking the time to give my countdown a read. Let me know your thoughts on if you agree or disagree with my picks. Don’t forget to give this page a follow or on twitter as well https://twitter.com/pegsatthemovies IG: https://www.instagram.com/peggyatthemovies/

DAY 3 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Continuing with the Oscar countdown ~ we are moving along to Best Supporting Actress – and it’s a category full of talent. Who do I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ. 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES

JESSIE BUCKLEYThe Lost Daughter

Jessie shines here and even though it’s a bit of a slow, almost Lifetime paced film, you can’t deny her performance comes through.

ARIANA DEBOSEWest Side Story MY PICK/WINNER

Her-story can be made here and yes, yes, YES it should be. There isn’t much else to be said as this performance rivals only it’s original.

JUDI DENCHBelfast

Judi Dench, like her counter-part Ciaran, never disappoints and this role is so tailor-made for her as she sews her way into our hearts once again.

KIRSTEN DUNSTThe Power of the Dog

Kirsten played the sadness of this role so well, but it’s just again, a case of possibly me not loving this film entirely as much as others that I don’t see it happening.

AUNJANUE ELLISKing Richard

The nomination for Ms. Ellis is long overdue here and while the category might have a sealed winner and not just in my mind, I am hoping this is just the beginning of recognizing her for more of these.

REVIEW: “KING RICHARD” (2021) Warner Bros.

Tennis is usually known as a rich people’s sport and can wholly be verified by just looking at the cost of tickets to even a smaller tournament. For the devout fans such as myself, this has left us for the most part, unable to attend such events. And yes, it is also a very European/white American based crowd as well, especially in the 90’s when the Williams sisters we coming on to the scene. Sure you had Arthur Ashe, but he was in the 70’s and was also a man, and even he had loads of issues being sported on him. With all that leading into the fact that sports movies in general can be difficult watches at times, mostly as the stories either have to be a touching one, a hard one, a biography etc., to make a point. Here director Reinaldo Marcus Green takes us on a journey film of the crazy, intense, wild and somewhat shady life of Richard Williams aka “KING RICHARD“. The film is at times emotional, but most of all, it’s a pretty good vehicle for Will Smith to show off his acting range.

Williams, the father of the now legendary Serena and Venus Williams, comes forth with the focus being mostly on Venus as yes, she is the older sister even though Serena is the more victorious of the two, but the narrative depicts his vision and determination to ensure that his daughters grasp every opportunity – willingly or less so – on their journey to undoubted tennis greatness. Though he does come across as a tightly focused man, he can also comes across and a rather unpleasant, thoughtless individual for whom, after a while, you can began to feel a growing dislike as it’s well known he hasn’t always been the most liked person on the tour, but the question put forth is really whether he was right in having his ‘plan’ and doing whatever he thought was right to get it done. The somewhat arbitrary way in which he treats not just his family, but those around trying to help (and, admittedly, to capitalize on the impending gravy train), can be looked at as all just bit too improbable, but you can’t deny what he did either. Certainly you can put yourself in Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal), or Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn), shoes and would have made the decision to tell him where to get off long before it became apparent that these two girls actually did have the ability to make it big. But then as well, it proved Richard to be pretty much right about his ideals after all.

By far the most inspirational part of the movie was really the improbable story. That a dedicated father instilled in his daughters a strength and resilience and confidence that they could do anything, become number one in the world, and in Serena’s case, become the greatest player who ever lived. Training day and night, rain or shine, he kept pushing them towards greatness, when many people scoffed at his claims about his girls, when many refused to train them, when they saw something insignificant, he saw their full potential.

Aunjanue Ellis is really strong in all the film as Oracene ‘Brandy’ Williams, being somewhat of the balance to Richard’s craziness, while Saniyya Sidney does a fantastic job as Venus, one of the best supporting teen roles I’ve seen in a while. She is a revelation and is definitely a name to watch as she completely stole the show at times. As well though they and the rest of the sisters are all too often subsumed in the domineering shadow of Smith. And noting that at 2¼ hours, it is also far too long with too many scenes that detract from the pace, that often can be meandering off and dragged in a lot of areas including how it skims over King Richards past – while many in the tennis world do know there was a true bit of shady-ness to the real man. I think many will have wished we could have done with far more input from the real “stars” of the movie to illustrate just how determined and accomplished they were as opposed to their father.

Overall this is a good watch. So tense, surprisingly funny and with a powerful and uplifting story. A film worthy of the Williams’ epic legacy. Personally I wish it would have shown the journey of the Williams sisters even more into their later career stage, but again this movie is NOT really about them, its about Richard ‘King’ Williams and his belief in them, their dedication to training, and ultimately their resiliency in the face of adversity to become the essentially perfect trifecta that propelled them to unprecedented success that was never realized by any other player before them. When they went onto the court, they truly believed that no one could beat them. Then they went out and proved it. Not only were they out there proving to themselves, but also to every person who went to see them. They then became role models for every other African American girl (and boy) who wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Grade: B-

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Review Screening ~ Courtesy of LAFTV Screening Group

“KING RICHARD” – IS OUT IN THEATERS AND ON HBO MAX NOW