SBD/Closing Bell

"Venus & Serena" Documentary Opens, Giving Portrait Of Tennis Sisters

The documentary "Venus & Serena" opens in theaters on Friday. The L.A. TIMES' Kenneth Turan wrote co-Directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major "provide an intimate, up close and personal portrait" of tennis' Williams sisters. The film "successfully reveals these private faces in a fascinating if occasionally disjointed way" (, 5/9). The N.Y. TIMES' A.O. Scott notes the film "focuses on 2011, when the Williams Sisters Era of women's tennis seemed to be coming to an end." The "very next year the sisters would win their third Olympic gold medal in women’s doubles, and Serena would dispatch Agnieszka Radwanska in a Wimbledon final." Those victories "provide an odd, off-key coda to a movie that is already more than a little muddled" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/10).

NPR's Ella Taylor wrote the film is "long on the details" of how Richard Williams "supported, protected, bullied and prodded his two girls into becoming champions." The doc is "most compelling as a portrait of domestic solidarity." Some will "come away thinking that the Williams family has grown so skilled at managing their public image that perhaps no filmmaker will ever get between the cracks" (, 5/9). ABC NEWS' Linsey Davis wrote the film "offers a glimpse into the work ethic and the mindset their father instilled in them" (, 5/9).
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