Make The Case: King Richard


By: Isaac P. Ale
March 15, 2022

king richard King Richard [2021]

Here is Part 3 in our "Make The Case" series leading up to the Oscars! All week we will be expostulating how and why each of the ten Best Picture nominees have a chance at winning the top prize at the 94th Academy Awards -- no matter how likely or unlikely their chances may be. Stay tuned for our Oscars Preview next week as we gear up for the ceremony on Sunday, March 27th. As always, be aware that there will be spoilers aplenty.

The Case

Not too long ago our very own Hopster gave us an eloquant breakdown of what makes King Richard so special. Among those top of the list are an undeniably riveting story, a top-tier performance from Will Smith and equally dynamic performances from Aunjanue Ellis and Jon Bernthal. So what does that get you? Well let's take a look at everything King Richard is nominated for:

  • Best Actor (Will Smith)
  • Best Editing
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis)
  • Best Original Song (BeyoncĂ©)
  • Best Picture

Aside from critical acclaim, King Richard has also garnered massive appeal with audiences across the world as it approaches the Academy Awards with a whopping 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With everything in the Best Picture category this year, what are the chances that King Richard can bring home that top prize??

Well first and foremost, Will Smith is the heavy frontrunner for his portrayal of Richard Williams in the Best Actor category. Benedict Cumberbatch is in second for his work in The Power of the Dog but with majority of the awards circuits going to Smith, it's hard to fathom Smith missing out on this one.

Obviously, a Best Actor doesn't necessarily mean you'll win Best Picture, but it can help build momentum. Not to mention, in a wide open Best Supporting Actress field it very well could go to Aunjanue Ellis would be an excellent first step in building that momentum!

Now is where it gets hairy. What about Best Original Screenplay?

In recent years, this award hasn't really had any bearing on Best Picture, but you know what they say, it can't hurt to win it. But it's a tough field. Going up against Belfast, Don't Look Up, Licorice Pizza and The Worst Person in the World is definitely an uphill battle. King Richard has the second lowest odds right in front of The Worst Person in the World, and Licorice Pizza is the odds front runner at the moment. A win here would certainly make you think twice about it winning Best Picture but in all honesty, why wouldn't it??

kingRichard2 King Richard [2021]

A fantastically written story about two American sports legends- mind you even more than that, as two black women who overcame everything to dominate their sport more so than anyone has before (and still to this day). Not only a fantastic story but a well crafted film to tell it too, with all around stellar performances. I mentioned earlier how Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis are on the top of their game but toss in a stellar (and not type cast) Jon Bernthal? It adds an excellent bit of pizaz to the film and rounds it all out quite well.

The Academy are suckers, and I mean suckers, for biopics especially really shitty ones like Bohemian Rhapsody. So imagining them voting for an actually great one is not that far fetched of an idea! Certainly, it'll take some luck to nab the top prize but King Richard is a film worthy of it, no doubt in my mind.

Side note, this film might give us Beyoncé's first Oscar for "Be Alive" which is a certified banger and also put into the film at a fantastic point. Reminiscent of "Dream On" at the end of Miracle, "Be Alive" is played over old footage of the Williams sisters training as kids with Richard, and it makes you really appreciate the film you just watched but also the athletes the movie is about. Venus and Serena are absolute legends, and I wouldn't mind a biopic about their father and upbringing taking home the top award.

More Articles to Satiate the Soul:

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