As we head into MLK Jr.’s birthday weekend, One Night in Miami is available on Amazon Prime. This is the directorial debut of Oscar-winner Regina King and is inspired by a 2013 stage play. This is kinda based on a true story: recreating a night in Miami in 1964, when boxer Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship & then celebrated in a motel room with Malcolm X, NFL star Jim Brown and singer Sam Cooke. So we KNOW they were together. What this movie does is envision what went down at that party. Cassius Clay was just about to become a Muslim, changing his name to Muhammad Ali. Malcolm X was on the verge of leaving the Nation Of Islam, leading to his assassination. Jim Brown was just about to leave his NFL career for Hollywood. Sam Cooke was bashed by activists for not wanting to offend the whites.
Aldis Hodge, currently starring on TV's City on a Hill (also known for Hidden Figures & Brian Banks) is imposing and confident as Jim Brown. Leslie Odom Jr., who played Aaron Burr in the movie Hamilton is perfectly cast. Eli Goree and British actor Kingsley Ben Adir are the least known in this fine cast. You really get the feeling you’re watch Malcom X. Adir is THAT good. Oscar great. Also getting Oscar buzz: Leslie Odom Jr. And so is Regina King, who would be the first African-American woman nominated for best director. She’s the first Black female director ever to be screened at the 77 year old Venice Film Festival. One thing I loved about this film was the whole debate on what exactly would bring equality to African-Americans. To Sam Cooke, who was then a mainstream pop star, it was economic freedom.
Also on Amazon: Promising Young Woman wraps mystery, thriller and comedy all in one. I think this film could have the same impact as Fatal Attraction. What I mean is this movie will spark big debates on date rape. Or witnessing a date gang rape. Also the “blame the drunk victim” debate. Carey Mulligan (An Education, Mudbound & the wife of Mumford & son’s Marcus Mumford) is fierce. Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black) is hilarious. Some of this film is predictable. Some of it shocking. It’s worth seeing just to talk about something other than Covid and the impeachment!