Review in Brief: One Night in Miami… (2020)

In 1964, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown met at a Miami hotel and spent the night in Malcom X’s room. That’s what we know happened – director Regina King and writer Kemp Powers imagine what was said in that room. The colourful quartet quickly split off and the night soon turns into a series of theatrical dialogues between pairs in the group, discussing what place American society found itself at this key turning point in 20th Century history. One of the more fascinating and challenging debates among many centres on Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr) extolling the benefits of white artists covering black artists’ songs. The leads are all excellent – Kingsley Ben-Adir gets the showiest turn as Malcolm X, oratorical cadence tellingly occasionally slipping when upset, and Eli Goree has the right swagger and naivety for Muhammad Ali before he went by the name. ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI… is mesmerising, contemplative, powerful filmmaking and the most confident of calling cards for Regina King as director. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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