'One Night in Miami': Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut Garners Strong Praise, Releases First Clip

'One Night in Miami': Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut Garners Strong Praise, Releases First Clip

September 8, 2020

Regina King‘s feature directorial debut One Night in Miami had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with many ready to toss King’s hat into the awards season ring. The film, based on Kemp Powers‘ play, is a “fictionalized account of a 1964 meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown,” and will also be playing at TIFF this week. Ahead of that, the first official One Night in Miami clip has been released, and you can check it out below.

One Night In Miami Clip

Above, you can see the first One Night in Miami clip, which is – unfortunately – trapped in Variety‘s terrible video player instead of YouTube. The movie – and therefore the clip – is set on February 25, 1964, and follows a fictional meeting between Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr.), and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), “as they gather to discuss civil rights and the cultural upheaval of the 1960s.” This is a strong clip, and suggests Eli Goree has really nailed down his performance as Muhammad Ali, who is still going by Cassius Clay in the context of the film.

Per the TIFF page for the film, the figures in One Night in Miami find themselves asking important questions: “Should successful Black entertainers speak out against racism? How best can Black celebrities serve the Black community? Are money and fame reward enough for humiliation?” I’m covering TIFF for /Film this week, and definitely plan to watch this as part of my coverage – it looks great, and the buzz is already quite strong.

“King proves to be a gifted director of actors as she massages into life a premise that could so easily have been swamped by its corniness,” states the review in The Times. The Hollywood Reporter adds: “Both entertaining and illuminating, the Amazon production draws a tacit line between a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement and America’s current racial reckoning.”

According to IndieWire, One Night in Miami “hits so hard because it remains joyfully, often painfully grounded in what makes a person extraordinary, even when the world isn’t ready for them.” And The Playlist calls the movie “a high-minded drama that plays as an all-star real-life Black superhero team-up and a ‘what if?’”

No official release date has been announced yet, but One Night in Miami is expected to arrive this year.

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