Will Smith takes the throne as the audacious and determined father of tennis’s legendary Venus and Serena Williams in this inspiring true story about achieving greatness no matter the cost.
Dressing for the job comes easily to aspiring tennis coach and doting father Richard Williams (Smith) in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s rousing, larger-than-life KING RICHARD. Donning short shorts and other preppy athletic garb uncommon on the streets of Compton in the 1990s, Richard would blend in at the haughty country clubs of LA if it weren’t for his skin color and the ever-growing chip on his shoulder. Motivated in part by the promise of financial reward, Richard, along with his committed second wife Oracene “Brandi” Price (Aunjanue Ellis), have constructed the ambitious and costly “Plan” for their two daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) to become the greatest tennis players of all time. Easier said than done. Facing obstacles (self-imposed and otherwise), the loving yet stubborn father reaches militant levels of training on and off the court, leaving neighbors, child services, and even his own wife bewildered. But when the promise of fame and fortune are within racket’s reach, Richard may be the only person standing in its way. In his most complex role to date, Smith shines as he sneers, balks, and laughs at the obstacles in raising a household of five brilliant young women in a system determined to fail them. Director Green captures the complicated man and the extraordinary, difficult lengths gone to by Richard and others (including famed tennis coach Rick Macci, played by a scene-stealing Jon Bernthal) to aid the sisters in achieving what is believed to be impossible. Despite the pain and harsh truths explored, Green and Smith craft a powerful, deep, warmhearted story for the ages whose success may come from Richard Williams’s own mantra: “Just have fun.”
CAST: Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Aunjanue Ellis
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
CLICK HERE to return to the complete 30th Philadelphia Film Festival schedule.
A Note on Health & Safety
As of September 1, PFS will require masking as well as proof of vaccination at the Film Center & PFS Bourse.
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include your CDC record/card or a picture of the vaccination card along with photo I.D.
Masks are required at all times except when eating or drinking in the theater. Children under the age of 12 are currently exempt from this requirement.
Click HERE for all of our health and safety regulations.