The Best Actor Oscar race has presumed to be between Will Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch all awards season, but after last night, Will Smith emerges as the clear frontrunner. King Richard is not his best performance, but he’s playing a real person, he does A Voice, and like I said before, the Academy are basic bitches at heart, and they’ll go for the obvious stuff nine times out of ten. He also has “it’s his time” energy, as this is his fourth nomination in twenty years. He’s popular, he’s put in the time, The Power of the Dog is looking vulnerable for the first time all season, the stars are aligning for one of Hollywood’s biggest Stars.
Smith attended the SAGs with Jada, obviously, and they came like an old-school power couple, with matchy-matchy outfits and Jada rocking MAJOR jewelry. The united front of their coordinated outfits did not stop red carpet host Laverne Cox from bringing up “entanglements” to their faces which is like…
Slip of the tongue, or honest to goddess gutsy callout? Either way, iconic is right. Who else would dare to say anything to even POSSIBLY derail the messaging of the night, especially since King Richard is positioned as a family-friendly film, and the Smiths’ relationship is, at times, not so traditional.
Speaking of family, Venus Williams was also present, sitting next to winner Will at their table inside. She’s wearing Dolce & Gabbana, which is…not ideal. But the dress does look great on her. And her presence is notable because, again, a major part of Smith’s campaign is the family-friendly nature of King Richard, and that he has the full support of the tennis champ sisters, Venus and Serena, in his portrayal of their imperfect but beloved father. Oscar campaigns are like political campaigns, and all the messaging counts. Smith’s messaging depends on the support of the Williams sisters. The question, then, is if Serena is at the Oscars, supporting Smith alongside Venus. A major Movie Star, potentially two tennis champs, and maybe Beyoncé, King Richard is bringing a LOT to the Oscars.