The champ IS here…
One Night in Miami imagines a night in February 1964, when real-life friends Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X gather to celebrate Clay’s win over Sonny Liston, which made him the heavyweight champion of the world. The mood is celebratory but the light banter takes a serious tone when these four men take serious looks at how their celebrity is best served to help the black community in a time of upheaval and strife.
From the play of the same name by Kemp Powers (who also wrote the screenplay) Regina King slides into the director chair with an incredibly relevant master stroke of a film that is not only timely but fascinating and incredibly relevant.
With this film King will firmly establish herself as an “Actor’s Director” as she really lets the four protagonists of the film have time to breathe and work with these characters who are real life people. Sure it’s all fictional, which really just means that it’s BETTER than real and we get a chance to see some iconic figures in pop culture behind closed doors as they grappled with the realities of the time they we’re living in.
With stellar work from Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr, the real discover here is Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, giving the iconic figure more genuine humanity then we’ve seen in years past.
There’s no doubt that One Night In Miami is the first genuine awards caliber movie this year.