The fact that this story was written blows my mind because it’s such a great concept. One Night in Miami is about 4 unforgettable legends that made huge waves in making great change in the world, meeting and having a conversation in a hotel room in Miami. Malcolm X will always be remembered as one of the greatest activists who fought for the civil rights movement. Cassius Clay also known as Muhammad Ali, is considered the greatest boxer who has ever lived. Sam Cooke also known as the "King of Soul" brought amazing music that still to this day transcends through time. Jim Brown is one of the greatest running backs that ever played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and who later became an actor. These are just quick descriptions of who these people are. They have accomplished so much more then what I just stated and had a huge impact on the world. In July of 2019 it was announced that Regina King would have her directorial debut and would bring all these amazing people together in her story. Casting was completed in January of 2020 with amazing actors Kingsley Ben-Adir (Malcolm X), Eli Goree (Cassius Clay), Aldis Hodge (Jim Brown) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Sam Cooke). Once they had this amazing cast, filming started soon after. The film had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September and gained a lot of buzz saying how fantastic this movie is. It then was slowly released to limited theaters in December, then released on Amazon Prime on January 15th.
Let’s talk about Regina King and how amazing she is in general. Regina King is probably one of the busiest people in the industry as of late and has been involved in so many great projects. She has been a great voice for many people in topics and discussions that really matter. I feel like she is finally getting the love and recognition that she deserves. With the popularity coming off the beloved series WATCHMAN on HBO, she has been able to get more recognition in the industry. She is not a force to mess in no regards as she has acted, produced and now directed her first feature film. She has directed a few things before with television, but this is her directorial debut. This movie succeeds on multiple levels because of her direction and what she was able to accomplish. From the look and feel, to the way she was able to get these performances off these incredible actors. She is able to tell a great story and execute it in a way that is very much character driven. Movies that are set in one place and are conversation driven, can be hard to accomplish. She perfectly was able to take the viewers into this world and keep our attention on the conversation these characters are having. She has said in an interview that she learned a great deal from her past work and created amazing rapport with many director’s that she has worked with. Regina also said that she is constantly taking notes to improve her craft in filmmaking and the whole filming process as a whole. With that being said she absolutely nailed it in this movie. Regina King is gonna be a huge person of interest for future movies and I'm sure many people will want to work with her. She expressed that she loves good story telling that brings out emotion, which this movie does beautifully!
The cast! These group of individuals make this movie as powerful as it is. They bring out the emotions Regina was looking for in this movie. I have never seen a movie with such a great assemble of characters. I have a huge love for movies that are able to tell the main story with characters that have very good on screen personalities. One Night in Miami blew my expectations away. Each and every person in this cast brought their “A” game and delivered an unforgettable performance. Malcolm X played by Kingsley shined with his on screen performance. He was not only able to speak the words that Malcolm X, but also used a lot of his mannerisms. He talked, walked and carried himself the way Macolm would in real life. That has to be said the same with Eli playing Cash. From the opening scene to the scenes in the hotel room, I saw Muhammad Ali. For the most part we all know who he is and how he fought. The famous line of floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. We see that same mentality on how Eli played the character. From the way he talked, to the way he was able to show how invincible he truly was in the ring. He was able to make us truly believe in the things we were seeing on the screen. Aldis who played Jim Brown played it very grounded and genuine. The calmer one in the group, but was able to play off everyone’s emotion. Aldis although playing the more grounded character, he was able to drive the story where it needed to be and bounced off everyones performance perfectly. There is so much emotion and thought in his character. We can tell that he is a very analytical person who wants to make a change in the world. Which made those moments of him going off into a monologue that more impactful and put goosebumps on your arms. Leslie playing Sam Cooke was my favorite performance. I didn’t see Leslie the actor, but Sam Cooke the Soul King! From his voice to Oscar worthy performance, Leslie brought the most compelling story into this movie. The scenes between Sam and Malcolm were some of the best acting showcases that I have seen in a very long time.
This type of story is the reason why I love movies. Regina saying that she wants to tell good stories brings me life. One Night in Miami although fictional, brings moments of realism. Although these four people never met together, knowing their history and influence we know this is what probably would have happened. We have a great activist that believed in devoting his life to the cause of the civil rights movement. A singer who has the power to share his gift and has a huge voice in the world. A famous football player who was able to overcome many adversities. Another who is someone who is known to be the greatest boxer of all time who had a major spotlight on him. Bring all of these people together and talk about their influence is amazing. The story is well paced and filled with unforgettable moments. We have four main characters that have rich backgrounds that are perfectly explored in this film. We understand where each one of them are coming from and where they want to be in life. The story shows their journey without taking the audience out of the main story. The movie really shows how big their influences are and how big they certainly became. We get in-depth with these characters and see what happened in their lives. Most importantly we get to see their mindsets and get a inside look how they viewed themselves in the world. The movie is also a great history lesson on what these legends went through and how they got where they are. They were able to overcome many different obstacles and succeed in what they wanted to do. Portrays their work and successes which helped many others after them. They are true heroes!
Final thoughts. This movie is absolutely incredible and is probably one that I will constantly remember. When the movie was coming to the conclusion, Sam Cooke performs one of his newest songs. After witnessing their night and conversations, this song was the final blow to put me into tears. The movie at the start had a fuse that was lit and it finally reached the moment of explosion. The emotions came out of nowhere and that’s when I knew this movie was special. Regina King did an excellent job in directing a well paced movie that has so much meaning. It is an important film for things that happened during that time and is still important today. The power of conversation and the outlook of a good future is relevant. This is also the perfect movie to introduce these people and their careers for those who do not know their story. The performances in this movie are unforgettable and there will be some Oscar nominations for sure. Cinematography and editing were flawless and allowed this story to flow so well. One Night in Miami is as well crafted as a movie can be. I honestly have no negative thoughts about this movie. I honestly don’t think there is room for improvement. It worked for me and I think it will be a very entertaining movie for most viewers. It also carries an important subject matter that I care very much about. Highly recommend watching this one. Currently streaming with Amazon Prime. The subscription itself is worth the price to watch this movie alone. Please let me know what you think of this movie!