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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

One Night In Miami

Director: Regina King

Studio: Amazon Studios

The best things happened all in One Night in Miami!

One Night in Miami serves as the directorial debut for actress Regina King who went from a small-time actress to the most influential people in the world. As a rising star, she had a breakout role in NBC’s 227, which was televised from 1985 to 1990, before prominently featured in Jerry Maguire, co-starring with Tom Cruise. Screenwriter and playwriting artist Kemp Powers, who has written his stage play One Night in Miami and was recently the co-director of Pixar’s Soul, heads to his writing duty to oversee the film’s production version of his play with actor Kingsley Ben-Adir in his lead role alongside the ensemble cast Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr.

Based on the screenplay and stage play written by Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami centers on the icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown whom they are gather fictionally in the group to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval in the 1960s just before the Civil Acts of 1964 is written, leading their powerful voices all around, defending their rights, and moving the country forward to equality and empowerment for all black people.

Here in the film, we have the ensemble cast of leading actors: Kingsley Ben-Adir (ITV’s Vera) as Malcolm X, Eli Goree (CW’s Riverdale) as Cassius Clay, Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton) as Jim Brown and Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. (Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton) as Sam Cooke.

As the director and producer, King studys back to history of the world living in the 1960s on how the world or a person can react and express their emotions upon seeing a black individual in person. She also borrows some key elements from Raging Bull and The Godfather trilogy as references in order to portray the characters, the plot, and the setting perfectly for that 1960s historical accuracy, producing a huge powerful and inspirational reflection that powers voices from any speaking individual happening in the country. With all the writing and the production designs overtaking the dynamics for that course, King also provides a powerful message on how anyone who has the position of power, even if it serves as means through music, film, art, and activism, she directs the plot and the storyline of each acts with a aplomb, giving the four main actors a shine to shingle on this very tight project.

Aside from King’s direction, the four mightily impressive leads each delivering a flawless performance of power and stature that goes with the iconic figures they are portraying. They both tried to strongly portray a character based on the figures’ personas and actions, but the four know how to do it smoothly and accurately. The main actors of the three (Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr.) become the best performers for the entire film, but the excellent performance coming from Kingsley Ben-Adir outshines them all.

Also appearing in the film are Beau Bridges, Jeff Bridges’ older brother, as Mr. Carlton and Lance Reddick (John Wick films) as Brother Kareem.

Above all, One Night in Miami is a great film to watch, it takes nearly two hours to watch. It’s very nice and relaxing to see how Regina King can pull that off as the breakout feature-film-debut director as well as Kemp Powers as a writer with a strong, compassionate voice. My paid respects to the main four actors as well. They, along with King and Powers, did a terrific job of understanding how anyone’s voices could question their ideas and arguments. Imagine if you pull the trigger on me, I promise you that this film is really a must. And to top it all off, King is absolutely the strongest director who can outshine Hollywood, I would love to see the Oscar-winning actress become an Oscar-nominated director like so.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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