One Night in Miami: a hard-hitting film

One Night in Miami: a hard-hitting film

Already deeply involved in the fight against racial inequalities in the United States, the African-American actress Regina King signs with One Night in Miami a solid and relevant first film which fits perfectly into the movement of the Black Lives Matter current.

Adapted from a play written by Kemp Powers (who also wrote the screenplay for the film), One Night in Miami recounts the fictitious meeting between four African-American icons in the mid-1960s.

We are February 25, 1964, in Miami. Boxer Cassius Clay (future Muhammad Ali) has just been crowned world champion after winning his fight against Sonny Liston. He decides to celebrate his victory in his hotel room with three of his good friends: football player Jim Brown, soulful singer Sam Cooke and activist Malcolm X.

The mood should be celebratory, but the conversations quickly turn into heated debates about the civil rights of African Americans. NFL star Jim Brown is considering launching an acting career, but fears his skin color is preventing him from getting good roles. Cassius Clay prepares to announce that he is converting to Islam with the help of Malcolm X, who for his part fears that his fight for the African-American cause could endanger his life and the safety of his family.

Too didactic

Well mastered, this first film by “Oscar-winning” actress Regina King as a director is essentially based on hard-hitting dialogue and solid actor performances. But as is often the case with adaptations of plays, the film sometimes turns out to be too talkative to capture the viewer’s attention for two hours.

King still managed to demonstrate a real talent for directing, especially in his way of filming the fight between Clay and Liston. Very promising, this first effort behind the camera should allow him to carve out a place in the race for the next Oscars.

One Night in Miami

★★★1/2

  • A film by Regina King
  • With Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr. / Available on Amazon Prime

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