“A fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the Civil Rights Movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.” – IMDB
Underrated. Underrated. Underrated. That’s what kept running through my head as I watched One Night In Miami. Let me clarify…
Yes, it was nominated for three Oscars including Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song for Leslie Odom Jr., as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for Kemp Powers; however, I am shocked and shook that Kingsley Ben-Adir (in particular), Eli Goree, and Aldis Hodge were not nominated for best supporting actor along with Odin (yes I recognize there are only so many spots), that Regina King was not nominated for Best Director, and that the film was not nominated for Best Picture. SHOOK. It’s another reason why award shows are meaningless, there were so many amazing movies this year, all so different from one another, that it really shouldn’t be allowed to recognize one over another. Apples and fucking oranges, right?!
More importantly this film is underrated because I know it has not reached the wide audience that it so rightly deserves.
Based on a night when Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown came together following Ali’s championship win, the story is a fictionalized account of what the four icons may have discussed that night. It is based on a celebrated play and, like many plays turned movies, places its quality in the dialogue and ensemble performances. However, I find that these movies tend to be overlooked because they are thought of as “critics movies” and aren’t thought to have mass appeal. Thus, I think this film, which impressively tackles so many social, racial, and political subjects and which is so (and I mean SO) well-acted, is not getting the credit it deserves. I mean it even took me months to get around to watching it and now I wish I had done so the second I heard about it.
Obviously I think it’s worth the watch. Even though it’s a fictionalized account, it teaches about important historical figures in an important historical moment, one which continues to resonate stronger than ever. And please watch this if for no other reason than it is like watching Ali, Malcolm X, Cooke, and Brown on screen. The performances are INCREDIBLE.
Okay, can someone please grab me a ladder so I can climb down off my soapbox now?…thanks.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke, Tick, Tick, Tick, Mo’ Better Blues, Malcolm X, What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali
Streaming: Amazon Prime
With: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.
Directed By: Regina King