"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

KING RICHARD is a CINDERELLA-like story about learning to always “be humble, and say thank you” in the face of overwhelming challenges. In it, a nearly unrecognizable Will Smith embodies Richard Williams. He surpasses all expectations as the lead in almost every scene.

I just wrote a review for TICK, TICK… BOOM! stating to “hand Andrew Garfield the Oscar.” Now, I’m not so sure. It’s going to be a head-to-head match-up with Garfield versus Smith. Transparently, I want Garfield to win, but I wouldn’t be upset if Will Smith takes home the gold.

Richard Williams was “in the champion raising business.” Not a spoiler since we all know his vision for Serena and Venus Williams came true. This unbelievable true story captures the family’s sacrifices for that to become a reality.

What I loved about KING RICHARD was Richard’s conviction not to let his daughters skip out on childhood. The film looks into why tennis stars burned out at a young age and his steps to prevent his daughters from experiencing the same.

My one nit with this film is the length. At almost two and a half hours, it’s just too long for a character study. Similar themes are repeated at nauseam, and what could’ve been an A+ film with an Oscar performance lands in the B+ zone.

At one point, Will Smith as Richard sings Kenny Rogers “The Gambler.” It’s a perfect analogy as Richard knew exactly “when to hold ’em.” If only the film knew “when to walk away.”

It’s available on HBO MAX and in theatres.

Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein is a Product Manager by day, ludicrous speed content consumer by night. He’s a LA Film School Alumni and TV Academy / Producers Guild of America member. Aaron is a proud parent and dad joke enthusiast.

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