King Richard, the film based on the role played by Richard Williams in the lives of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, has been honored at this year's American Film Institute awards as one of the top 10 movies of 2021.
In the film, Will Smith plays the role of Richard Williams, who coached his two daughters Venus and Serena, guiding them to superstardom in tennis and a place among the very best to have ever played the game.
The film was released in theaters in the US last month and has been very well received by the public. However, it has also received its fair share of controversy on social media as a psychologist named Jessica Taylor tweeted that a film regarding the Williams sisters should not be named 'King Richard'. This angered a lot of people on Twitter.
Will Smith has garnered a lot of praise for his performance, with The Times calling it his best since Ali.
A few days ago, in an interview with Popsugar, Venus spoke very highly of the Men in Black star's portrayal of her father.
The 41-year-old said:
"There are so many special moments throughout the film, but one of the highlights of seeing King Richard is Will Smith's portrayal of our father." "When he signed on to the role, we were definitely excited because he's the real deal, and he surpassed all expectations. He truly did his part to understand our dad and embody his spirit."
The film, which has been praised by the likes of actress Reese Witherspoon, will be honored along with the others on the list at a private event on 7 January.
King Richard could receive Oscar nominations
Generally, the films that are named in AFI's top 10 list have very strong chances of being nominated for the Oscars and Golden Globes, among other awards. This could mean that King Richard has some nominations coming its way.
Smith could very well bag his third Oscar nomination, having previously been nominated for his films Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. If nominated in the Best Motion Picture category, the other films it will have to compete against may include West Side Story, Belfast and The Power of the Dog.
King Richard, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, is an important contribution in the domain of sports films, especially tennis. Other legendary films in this genre include The Pride of the Yankees, Raging Bull and Chariots of Fire, among others.