Will Smith delivers one of his best performances as the ambitious father of two sporting prodigies in this rousing, hugely enjoyable biopic.
Reinaldo Marcus Green
Tim White, Trevor White, Will Smith
Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal
USA 2021. 138min
Warner Bros. Pictures
In the Compton suburbs of the early 1990s, Richard Williams has his sights firmly set on superstardom for his two young daughters, Venus and Serena. Despite having no formal training, the go-getting father has spent years painstakingly teaching his girls the art of tennis at the rundown local courts. Venus and Serena’s raw talents are undeniable, but there is only so far Richard’s tutelage can take them. What the pair need is the backing of a professional coach. Luckily Richard has a plan (a 78-page plan, in fact), and he will stop at nothing to guarantee his daughters become world champions. Like all the best sports movies, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s captivating biopic (exec-produced by Serena, Venus and their sister Isha Price) is at heart a tale of triumph over adversity, detailing the lengths one determined father will go to ensure a place for his children in the privileged and overwhelmingly white world of tennis. In a uniformly excellent cast, Will Smith is electrifying in the title role, while rising stars Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton serve a pair of aces as the aspiring tennis legends.
Tickets from £10 (£5 for 25 & Under) for all Gala and Special Presentation screenings at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
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The screening on Saturday 16 October will be presented with closed captions for customers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.
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