Will Smith’s performance as Richard Williams in the upcoming film “King Richard” has already gotten critics speculating about the Oscars.
After the film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Thursday, the actor, who plays the father of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, received accolades from critics.
After the festival, Vanity Fair’s senior critic Richard Lawson claimed that Smith “is going to win that Oscar.”
He then said, in regard to Smith receiving the Best Actor Oscar for his performance, “I just think the Smith campaign has all the required components to make it effective.”
Smith is in the “forefront of what is expected to be a nasty best actor race,” according to Clayton Davis, the film awards editor for Variety.
On Twitter, several critics expressed similar feelings about Smith’s performance, with some even predicting that the film will be nominated for Best Picture.
Smith’s work has previously been acknowledged by the Academy.
For his portrayal of famed boxer Muhammad Ali in the 2001 film “Ali,” the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor received a Best Actor nomination. He was also nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of entrepreneur Chris Gardner, who was the inspiration for the 2006 film “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Smith, who is also a producer on “King Richard,” said in a July Instagram post that one of his “biggest privileges” as an actor has been playing roles that commemorate someone’s legacy while they are still alive.
According to Variety, if Smith is nominated for Best Actor and “King Richard” is nominated for Best Picture, he will be the second Black male to be nominated for both acting and producing in the same year. (For his performance in 2016’s “Fences,” Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor.) The film was also nominated for Best Picture that year, and he directed and produced it.)
Beyoncé has received considerable Oscar buzz for her performance in “King Richard.” According to Variety, the singer and DIXSON collaborated on an original song called “Be Alive” for the film.
The film “King Richard,” directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin, will be released in theaters in the United States on November 19. For 31 days after its theatrical premiere, it will be available on HBO Max as part of the platform’s ad-free package.
In February, the Academy will announce the Oscar nominations.