Halle Berry and Daniel Craig Navigate the L.A. Riots in First ‘Kings’ Trailer
Kings first popped up on my radar last fall before it made its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, but things have been relatively quiet since. A historical drama about the 1992 Rodney King L.A. riots starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig is enough to attract anyone’s attention; they’re an odd, but interesting pairing. But most intriguing was the director behind the project, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, the Turkish-French filmmaker behind 2015’s Foreign Oscar nominee Mustang.
The Orchard debuted the first trailer for the film, which follows Berry as Millie, a single mother living in South Central with eight adoptive kids. The rambunctious kids cause enough chaos to set off Daniel Craig’s irritable neighbor Obie, but then he and Millie befriend one another. What seems like a lighthearted drama then becomes a harrowing historical account when the Rodney King beating occurs. Here’s the full synopsis from last year’s TIFF:
Millie (Berry) is a hardworking single mom with a soft spot for strays. When Kings begins, she already has eight children living in her house and will soon bring home another. Her neighbor Obie (Craig) is the local loose cannon, and the only white man in an area largely inhabited by African Americans, Latinos, and Koreans. With racial tensions running dangerously high, Millie and Obie would appear to be unlikely allies. Yet following the acquittal of four of the officers accused of beating Rodney King, these two must navigate the gathering chaos in the city to bring Millie’s kids home safely.
Ergüven, who makes her English-language debut here, wrote and directed the film. It got some not-so-hot reviews that criticized the film’s uneven tone. Based on the trailer alone, I’m a little worried it puts more weight in a sentimental family drama than it grapples with the larger racial issues at work in such a crucial piece of history. But we’ll find out when Kings hits theaters April 27, a few days shy of the 26th anniversary of the L.A. riots.