Will Smith finally won an Oscar, but has the slapping incident already made it hard to watch his acclaimed performance?
Great analysis. One thing that bothered me about the film was the portrayal of Richard Williams, at least at the beginning of the film, was that of a child’s understanding of their father. Inscrutable, maybe, but always and infallibly correct and moral and virtuous throughout. I think the character gained in moral complexity throughout the film, but never seemed like a ‘real’ character to me. To an extent, I guess that’s just how biopics go, but you’re telling me he was never tired, or frustrated? Never yelled. Had no vices, lived like a saint, and was completely 100% focused on his children throughout his life? When his wife mentions she’s put up with his affairs, that seemed like a real detail, but the film doesn’t seem in any way interested in exploring that part of his personality.
I really enjoyed this film, and my girlfriend had an even more positive reaction to it. We both thought Will Smith was excellent. Still, I can't help but want a film that portrays what is probably a much more common story -- the sports or stage parent who has a plan and pushes and pushes but ruins lives instead of creating superstars. Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I think there was a lot of luck to what Richard Williams accomplished. Nothing was inevitable, and the wrong roll of the dice here or there could have had tragic consequences.