“King Richard,” March 11, 2022 (2021), DVD. Both Bronwen and I really liked this look at the role of Richard Williams (Will Smith in a stellar and underplayed turn) – and his remarkable wife Oracene (Aunjanue Ellis, also outstanding) – in the rise of daughters Venus and Serena to tennis super-stardom. Six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress are deserved, whether they win or not. Jon Bernthal as coach Ric Macci is a good foil to Williams’ controlling dad who pulled these two phenoms out of competition for three years after establishing their unique power through early childhood victories in California. Not surprisingly, this is very much about race and racism in a white sport, although I was surprised that the names Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson went unspoken. It’s also about life on the economic edge in Compton, the community’s initial failure to support his/their monomaniacal plan to achieve greatness, and the game’s whiteness and general unwillingness to open up to outsiders such as the Williams sisters. Smith plays Williams as both profoundly focused, loving, and harsh, and brings the father’s linguistic tics and arrogance into the performance with real skill. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who was himself ‘groomed’ by his father to be a pro-baseball player, this is a film with both artistic style, social content, and human/humane empathy. It speaks to the role of faith in the process as well as the flawed nature of the protagonist. Sinaya Sidney’s Venus and Demi Singleton’s Serena shine as controlled girls with their own ambitions and sense of self. Indeed, the whole cast is a pleasure to watch, but Smith is superb as a man abused, humiliated and often ignored pursues his dreams for himself, his family and his daughters regardless of the often physical pain he is forced to endure and the pain he causes others. This is a rich and complex commercial film worth viewing.