For this week, we have picked a biopic drama ‘King Richard’ as our movie of the week.
The movie, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, looks at how the sisters from Compton, California, became two of the greatest athletes in tennis history and the role that their domineering dad played in helping them get there.
Armed with a clear vision and a brazen, 78-page plan, Richard Williams is determined to write his two daughters, Venus and Serena, into history. Training on tennis courts in Compton, California, Richard shapes the girls’ unyielding commitment and keen intuition. Together, the Williams family defies seemingly insurmountable odds and the prevailing expectations laid before them.
Over the course of nearly three decades, the Williams sisters have gone from being teen phenoms to sport icons, winning 30 Grand Slam titles between the two of them. However, Serena said her father was the driving force behind her and Venus’ success — which is why the film is named after him.
The Louisiana native didn’t play tennis himself, but “he stayed up many nights watching films so he could teach us,” Serena said in a 2003 interview with Oprah Winfrey. “He taught our mom and then they taught us. … Our father doesn’t get enough credit. He showed us how to serve, and we have the biggest serves in women’s tennis.”
The film covers a seven-year period in the ‘90s when Richard was trying to get his daughters noticed by elite coaches — but Serena admitted that the things happening on screen still felt real to her now.
“There’s a scene where my dad says…” she said in a November 2021 interview with Smith before catching herself. “Well, Will says that you’re doing this for every Black girl. And that really hit me in a different way because obviously at the time we didn’t know.”
Check out the trailer below to get started: